National Maritime Museum launches appeal to save George Stubbs paintings

By Sarah Jackson | 13 August 2013

The National Maritime Museum has launched a £1.5 million appeal to acquire two oil paintings by celebrated British artist George Stubbs.

George Stubbs, Kongouro from New Holland
George Stubbs, Kongouro from New Holland© Private Collection, Courtesy of Nevill Keating Pictures Ltd
The paintings, Kongouro from New Holland and Portrait of a Large Dog, represent the first painted images of a kangaroo and dingo in Western art.

They were commissioned by gentleman-scientist Sir Joseph Banks following his involvement with Captain James Cook’s first voyage of discovery of the Pacific on the HMS Endeavour from 1768-71.

The Museum has secured £3.2 milliom from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £200,000 from the Art Fund, which will go towards the acquisition of the works and much-needed conservation work. A public programme is also being planned to ensure the paintings are brought to the widest audience possible.

Lord Sterling, the Chairman of Royal Museums Greenwich, called the bid "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity", adding that the paintings would "enhance immeasurably" the story of human exploration.

The significance of the paintings is such that they have been placed under a temporary export bar while the appeal is mounted to save them for the nation.

If the appeal is successful, they will initially go on display in the Queen’s House, Greenwich in 2014. The paintings are currently on public display in the Sammy Ofer Wing, and will be throughout the fundraising campaign.
  • Donations can be made by texting STUB35 to 70070, online via JustGiving or in person at the Museum. Use the hashtag #saveourstubbs on Twitter.

More pictures:

George Stubbs, Portrait of a Large Dog
George Stubbs, Portrait of a Large Dog© Private Collection, Courtesy of Nevill Keating Pictures Ltd
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