The Lytham St Annes Art Collection

The Lytham St Annes Art Collection is one of the finest Town Hall collections in the country. It includes works of international significance including over twenty five paintings by Richard Ansdell RA and its most iconic painting, The Vision of Catherine of Aragon, 1781 by the Neo-classical Swiss artist, Henry Fuseli (1741-1825).

What is in the Collection?

The Lytham St Annes Art Collection is amongst the finest town hall collections in the country.  It is a unique and varied collection, born primarily from the proceeds of Britain’s industrial past and the philanthropy of affluent patrons who had moved to Lytham St Annes from the industrial cities of the North West. It tells the story of Lytham St Annes, its people, way of life and culture. Paintings by Richard Ansdell RA, Henry Fuseli RA, Alfred Elmore RA, John Morgan RBA, Federico Andreotti and Charles Burton Barber ROI are among the works reproduced.

The Collection is held in Trust and managed by Fylde Council and is supported by a Friends group – the Friends of the Lytham St annes Art Collection, who organize fund raising events to invest into the ongoing care of the Collection.

More information on pieces in the Collection can be found HERE

Latest news…

The following pieces are currently away from the Collection off site under expert restoration and we will see them back in 2023:

  • The Startled Deer by Richard Ansdell – NOW RETURNED
  • Watering Place by William Shayer
  • The Old Water Mill near Bettws-Y-Coed by Thomas Creswick
  • Gamekeeper with Spaniels by Richard Ansdell
  • The Italian Flower Girl by Eugene de Blaas (pictured)

The art collection’s most significant piece, The Vision of Catherine of Aragon (pictured below), recently embarked on another voyage on the 25th August 2022, to Musee Jacquemart-Andre in Paris; a private museum within a nineteenth century mansion. The mansion was built by Edouard Andre and his wife, Nelie, who were major collectors of important works of art. After the death of Edouard, Nelie continued to travel the world in search of art works to add to their impressive collection until she too passed in 1913 and the mansion became a museum at Nelie’s request. The museum’s collection includes major works by the likes of Francois Boucher, Rembrandt, Vittore Carpaccio, and Botticelli. Visitors can tour the mansion, the rooms of which have been restored and conserved, much like Lytham Hall.

The Fuseli painting took centre stage in the exhibition “Fuseli, the Realm of Dreams and the Fantastic; an oeuvre of the painter”. Comprising 60 works, the exhibition explored the artist’s inspiration from Shakespearean themes to dream theory, to mythological and biblical illustrations. It was on view from 16th September 2022 to January 2023. The painting has now been safely returned to Fylde Council Town Hall in St Annes, Lancashire.

There are exciting plans to open up a display space at Lytham Hall for public access to the Lytham St Annes Art Collection. Fylde Council have earmarked significant investment into the Grade One listed historic building to develop a gallery space in the former ‘Long Gallery’ with the opportunity to show a series of exhibitions during the year.

Italian flower girl

Friends of the Collection

The Friends of the Lytham St Annes Collection, a registered charity, support the Council’s Conservation of the Collection.  The Friends of the Collection exist in order to raise awareness of the Collection and to raise funds for its ongoing conservation. Many items in the Collection need to be conserved and there is a huge cost for cleaning and repair work. The Friends work tirelessly to raise funds for this important work.

They welcome new members who may wish to get involved by helping to raise funds, invigilate future exhibitions and support all the activities to raise awareness of the Collection. The Friends would be delighted if you contact them with any information you have about the artefacts, artists or donors to add to the wealth of knowledge now amassed over several years of research.

If you belong to a society that has speaker meetings the Friends can provide a speaker. All fees received for talks contribute to the Friends Conservation Fund. The Friends can be contacted by clicking HERE

Friends of the LSAAC

Friends Newsletter

The Friends of the Lytham St Annes Collection, a registered charity, support the Council’s Conservation of the Collection.  They exist in order to raise awareness of the Collection and to raise funds for its conservation. Friends newsletters are published twice per year. For a previous edition to see the work of the Friends click HERE

Upcoming events…

OPEN DAY AT FYLDE COUNCIL TOWN HALL – SAT 16TH SEPT – FROM 10AM (LAST ENTRY 3:30PM). FREE ENTRY – DONATIONS TO THE COLLECTION WELCOME.

Heritage Open Day – England’s largest festival of history and culture! Every September thousands of volunteers across England organize events to celebrate our fantastic history and culture. It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are FREE to explore. In 2023 the Heritage Open Day season is September 8th to 17th.