Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd

About us

Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd has an international reputation as a specialist dealer in British art with an emphasis on paintings, watercolours, drawings and sculpture of the seventeenth to mid-nineteenth centuries and are recognised for handling important works of outstanding quality backed with exceptional scholarship. We count leading American, European and British museums and private collectors amongst our regular clients.

We exhibit at TEFAF, Maastricht and TEFAF New York Fall as well as at the Salon du Dessin, Paris and during London Art Week. We produce a full scholarly catalogue of highlights from our inventory annually, which can be downloaded from the catalogues page. Over the last decade we have gained a significant reputation as supporters of scholarship of British art, supporting over 20 major international exhibitions as well as numerous publications, fellowships and lectures.

We believe that the process of acquiring a work of art should be an enjoyable and stimulating experience and we pride ourselves on having created a gallery that offers clients the opportunity to discuss and view pictures in relaxed and comfortable surroundings. Visitors are always welcome at the gallery which is located on the second floor of an attractive building dating from the 1880s situated between New Bond Street and Savile Row. Although we are generally open on weekdays we operate on a ‘by appointment’ basis, to ensure that we can give our visitors our best attention.

We can offer advice on all aspects of collecting. This includes the purchase and sale of works of art as well as conservation, restoration, framing, lighting and hanging. We can also provide a complete curatorial service for collections.

People

Lowell Libson

Lowell Libson has over forty years’ experience as a dealer in paintings and drawings and is regarded as a leading authority on British art of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Lowell began his career as a picture specialist at Phillips auctioneers before becoming a director of the Leger Galleries. In 1996 Lowell was appointed Managing Director of Spink-Leger Pictures before founding his own private gallery in 2001.

Lowell has always believed passionately in advancing scholarship in British art. During his time at Spink-Leger he mounted an unprecedented exhibition examining the rise of the plein air sketch in British nineteenth-century art: Feeling through the eye: The ‘New’ Landscape in Britain 1800-1830. This was followed by a pioneering exhibition in 2005 dedicated to the work of Cornelius Varley: The Art of Observation in 2005. Lowell and the gallery have regularly supported museum exhibitions, publications and acquisitions as well as fellowships and projects including the new drawings gallery at The Courtauld Gallery.

Lowell is additionally chairman of London Art Week, a trustee of Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury as well as formerly being on the committees of the Society of London Art Dealers and the Walpole Society. In 2011, he was appointed by the government as a member of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest. 

Jonny Yarker

Jonny Yarker joined Lowell Libson Ltd. in 2012 and has been a director of the company for the last two years, he has a considerable reputation as a scholar of British painting and the Grand Tour. Jonny, who completed a PhD at Trinity College, Cambridge, has held academic fellowships in America, London, and most recently, Rome. He has published widely, contributing to a number of publications on the Grand Tour including: Digging and Dealing in Eighteenth Century Rome (Yale, 2010); The English Prize, the capture of the Westmorland, an incident of the Grand Tour (Yale, 2012) and the recent exhibition: Richard Wilson (1713-82): A European Master (Yale 2014). Jonny has written a large number of scholarly articles for a range of publications and has lectured widely in both Britain and the US.

At Lowell Libson Ltd. Jonny has continued to develop the scholarly scope of the business, with particular focus on catalogues and exhibitions. His current research projects include work on the Thomas Gainsborough catalogue raisonné which is to be published by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in 2018, as well as a book length study of the British artistic community in Rome in the second half of the eighteenth century entitled Savage Pilgrims: Rome and the Grand Tour 1750-1798

Cressida St Aubyn

Cressida St Aubyn joined the gallery four years ago and is our Company Secretary and gallery manager. As such, she is responsible for administration and the day to day running of the gallery. Cressida has also made a niche successfully overseeing our framing projects. She previously occupied roles within the PR and Finance sector after graduating from the University of Leeds with a degree in History. 


GIFTS OF WORKS AND SUPPORT TOWARDS ACQUISITIONS:

Royal Academy of Arts, London
Morgan Library & Museum, New York
Courtauld Gallery, London
National Gallery, London
British Museum, London
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Holburne Museum, Bath
Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury
Art Institute of Chicago
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Exhibitions and projects which we have supported include:

Building a collection: New acquisitions and Promised Gifts of British Art, Art Institute of Chicago, 2004
Chasing Happiness: Maurice Maeterlinck, The Blue Bird and England, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 2006
The John Hayes Lecture series, National Portrait Gallery, London, 2007-9
‘The field calls me to labour’: watercolours of nineteenth-century rural Britain by Robert Hills, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 2008
Gainsborough’s Landscapes: Themes and Variations, Holburne Museum, Bath, 2011
The King’s Artists: George III’s Academy, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2012
Constable, Gainsborough, Turner and the Making of Landscape, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2012
Lowell Libson Post-Doctoral Fellow, Morgan Library & Museum, 2012-14
Master Drawings, Ashmolean Museum, 2013
British Watercolour catalogue, Cleveland Museum of Art, 2013
Joseph Wright of Derby: Bath and Beyond, Holburne Museum, Bath, 2014
A Dialogue with Nature: Romantic Landscapes from Britain and Germany, Morgan Library, New York & Courtauld Gallery, London, 2014
Dream, Draw, Work: Architectural Drawings by Norman Shaw RA, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014
Great British Drawings, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 2015
Love Bites: Caricatures by James Gillray, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 2015
Significant contributions to the new Drawings Gallery at the Courtauld
Jonathan Richardson By Himself, Courtauld Gallery, 2015
Artist and Empire: Facing Britain's Imperial Past, Tate Britain, 2015
Jean-Etienne Liotard, Royal Academy, 2015-2016
Stubbs and the Wild, Holburne Museum, Bath, 2016
Pierre-Jean Mariette and the Art of Collecting Drawings, Morgan Library, New York, 2016
Light, time legacy: Francis Towne’s watercolours of Rome, British Museum, London, 2016
Digitisation of Agnew stock-books in The National Gallery archive, 2016
William Henry Hunt: Country People, Courtauld Gallery, London, 2017
Basic Instincts: Love Passion and Violence in the Art of Joseph Highmore, Foundling Hospital, 2017
Thomas Gainsborough: Experiments in Drawing, Morgan Library and Museum, New York, 2018
The art world in Britain 1660 to 1735, ongoing support for this important research database run by the University of York, 2014 –

Ongoing support for Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury (development, programming and curatorial)