Thomas Agnew & Sons was established by Thomas Agnew in Manchester in 1817, and opened its London gallery in 1860, where the firm soon established itself as one of Mayfair’s leading dealerships. Since then Agnew’s has held a pre-eminent position in the world of Old Master paintings, and was instrumental in promoting contemporary British art in the late 19th century.
Over generations, Agnew’s has acted as principal agents and advisors to some of the most important collectors of their time, including Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh, Alfred Beit, Alfred and Ferdinand de Rothschild and more recently Paul Mellon, Norton Simon and the Samuel Kress Foundation. Agnew’s also often served as agent for the National Gallery, London in the auction rooms and has been involved in placing masterpieces in major museums around the world. The gallery has handled works by, amongst others, Caravaggio, Van Dyck, El Greco, Frans Hals, Poussin, Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Titian, Turner and Velázquez, including the latter’s Rokeby Venus in the National Gallery, London.
In 2013, after nearly two centuries of family ownership, Agnew’s was purchased privately and is now run by Lord Anthony Crichton-Stuart, a former head of Christie’s Old Master paintings department, New York.
Whilst remaining true to the remit of the firm, selling “Great Works of art from English and Continental Schools", the new Agnew's, now under an entirely new and dynamic ownership and management, are active participants in all areas of the market, from Old Masters to 20th Century, including paintings, works on paper and sculpture.
Agnew’s gallery selection appeals to a cross-section of buyers, presenting a broad range of genres and subjects, price ranges, and periods, connecting the dots in art history demonstrating the relevance of the art of all periods to today’s buyer. We work with established collectors and curators to refine existing collections, while simultaneously introducing a new and younger audience to the pleasures and satisfaction of collecting.
Above all we wish to create an exciting and inspiring environment for visitors, to promote the idea that, in the words of Picasso; "Art washes the dust of everyday life from the soul".
Anna Cunningham, Anthony Crichton-Stuart