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The Curwen Gallery in Fitzrovia to close after 30 years

Last auction to be held this month

17 March, 2017 — By Alina Polianskaya

Jill Hutchings is closing the gallery in Windmill Street after many happy years 

THE owner of a popular art gallery has announced a final auction after more than 30 years in Fitzrovia.
The Curwen Gallery in Windmill Street will auction off a range of lithographs from its famous studio later this month, as well as a range of contemporary art.

Gallery director Jill Hutchings, who spent many happy decades running Curwen along with her late husband John, said: “We are closing sadly. Life has got quite expensive and sales haven’t kept up with it. I wanted to be in control of the date and not be told I have to leave. It is terribly sad, but I have been very happy here.”

Jill and John Hutchings took over the gallery and print studio in the early 1980s to save it from closure. Originally based at the Royal Academy, they later moved to 34 Windmill Street, which was once a base for fan clubs of major bands.

The Curwen Gallery in Windmill Street

“It was base for Ozzy Osbourne’s fan club, as well as Led Zeppelin and The Who,” Ms Hutchings added.
Ms Hutchings, who had previously worked as a nurse at the former Middlesex Hospital, said: “In 1982, Curwen began struggling financially and it was put up for sale. It was bought immediately, but we heard they were going to close the gallery and studio. John and I were devastated so we bought out the gallery and studio.”

Curwen was originally founded in 1863, by minister John Curwen, producing books, prints and music manuscripts and in the 1950s opened a gallery to sell its lithographic prints.

The grandmother of 10, who turns 80 in June, added: “We inherited some brilliant print makers. We are very proud of its background. We are very loyal to our artists and they are loyal to us. I’ve loved it, I love my artists and my clients. It’s been an incredible period.

“I want to say a big, big, thank you for all the support and how much everybody means to me.”

The last live auction will take place in the gallery on March 22 from 7pm. The gallery is also holding an online auction that ends on March 21 and can be entered via www.the-saleroom.com

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