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Exhibition at Edinburgh’s OpenEye Gallery: displaying the unique art collection of the late W Gordon and Jay Gordon Smith

Published: 19 January 2021
Time to read: 2 mins

This month sees a new and exciting exhibition at Edinburgh’s OpenEye Gallery when the unique art collection of the late W Gordon and Jay Gordon Smith goes on display. This feels a little like breaching client confidentiality, which ordinarily I would not, but as it is a public exhibition and for a good cause I think I am justified in doing so. The collection is part of an estate being administered by the firm – something in which we have particular expertise having administered a number of estates with art collections on behalf of our clients. Some have been sold, other left as legacies, on which occasionally Condition Exemption is claimed, and others “offered in lieu” to pay Inheritance Tax.

I was fortunate to see the collection in situ. Jay had a story about each of the artists and the reasons for buying each work. She did not wish a funeral but rather a catalogue compiled of their art collection (over 250 works of art) and an exhibition and sale to celebrate their lives. With a view to extending their lifetime’s support of the arts in Scotland, Jay left a series of legacies. Jay wanted to provide bursaries to “deserving students in their foundation course” at the Leith School of Art, and facilitate the continuing provision by The Royal Scottish Academy of their Residences for Scotland Programme as well as continuing the W Gordon Smith Award, (founded in memory of Gordon by Jay) awarded to the best artists in each of the annual exhibitions of The Royal Scottish Society of Painters and Watercolour, The Royal Scottish Academy, Visual Arts Scotland and The Society of Scottish Artists.

This unique exhibition is the culmination of a lifetime’s support of artists in Scotland. It was Jay’s wish that the catalogue and exhibition serve as a celebration of their lives. The proceeds from this sale will assist in fulfilling their legacy to support artists in Scotland.

The catalogue is available to buy and to view the collection, please click here. 

Under normal circumstances, there would have been a series of events at the gallery to celebrate this wonderful collection, however please do take a look.

To watch the video of the exhibition, please click here

I hope it provides a little bit of light and inspiration as we navigate these difficult times.



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