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6th May 2016
Lot 110 Tessa Newcomb born 1955 Wide Open Spaces oil on board estimate 3000 4000

A remarkable collection of more than 270 post-war paintings amassed by a Norfolk art dealer and gallery owner who enjoyed a national reputation is set to go under the hammer next week in the county.

The personal collection and residual stock which make up the Judy Hines Collection will be auctioned by Keys Fine Art Auctioneers at their Aylsham salerooms on Wednesday 11th May.

The collection includes 19 works by Tessa Newcomb, as well as paintings by Gerald Meares, Bruer Tidman, Gordon Hales and John Kiki.

Judy Hines, who operated for four decades from 1973, bought most of her collection either direct from artists or in auction rooms, and supplied many London dealers with contemporary art during her long career (see biography, below).

“This is a truly unique collection, reflecting the success of one of the first women to break into the art dealing world, and someone who had a great knack of spotting emerging talent and championing that talent through to success,” said Kevin Lines, Keys’ general manager and head of fine art.

“Many of these pictures have been in Judy’s private collection since she bought them from the artists, and so have never been seen publicly.  This is a sale of national importance, and we are delighted to be holding it in Judy’s home county of Norfolk.

“This is very accessible art, both in terms of the subject matter and style, but also financially, and we expect that the auction will attract many private buyers as well as collectors and dealers.”

Keys’ Judy Hines Art Collection sale takes place on Wednesday 11th May from 10.30am, at Keys’ salerooms in Aylsham, Norfolk.  Viewing is on Monday 9th May and Tuesday 10th May from 9am to 5pm, and on the morning of the sale from 9am.  Full details and a downloadable catalogue can be found at www.keysauctions.co.uk.

Judy Hines

Judy Hines pictured at GorlestonRetired art dealer and gallery owner Judy Hines was a central part of the East Anglian art world for more than 40 years, who amassed a huge collection through buying direct from artists, and from auction houses, among them keys Fine Art Auctioneers.

Daughter of the eminent Norfolk painter Edward S Hines, she met many leading artists while accompanying her father on sketching outings, including Rowland Fisher, Campbell Mellon and Arthur Davies.

Her involvement in the art world developed further when she married renowned Norwich School of artists expert Dr Miklos Rajnai, whom she met while researching at Norwich Castle.  Judy travelled extensively with him throughout Europe and the United States, following John Sell Cotman’s footsteps, and viewing other Norwich School artists’ works, recording and identifying them for her husband’s research for his well-regarded books on the Norwich School.

In 1973 she opened her first gallery in her family home outside Norwich.  She learned framing in London, and opened her own workshop.  She also opened ‘Gallery 45’ in Norwich, and in 1997 opened her renowned gallery in Holt where she was for ten years.

Buying mainly direct from artists, she visited London every week, selling to a large variety of art dealers – at a time when there were few women operating at that level in the art world.

“I think I was initially accepted into the art world as a woman because of the research I had carried out with my husband,” she says.  “I was very much a woman in a man’s world, but I had amassed a lot of knowledge, and that gained me respect.”

By buying direct from less ‘commercial’ artists, Judy was also introducing new strands of work into the mainstream.  “I always bought what I liked, often going for artists’ early works, before they became more commercial.  I think these works probably were a more genuine expression of the artist’s own creativity.

“I some ways I was a bit of a talent spotter for East Anglian artists.  Dealers all wanted different style s of work, so I needed to know what would sell.  I think it’s fair to say that I was able to give an early boost to the careers of some artists who later on became very successful – people like Gerald Meares and Lance Beeke.

“I started out just at the outset of the ‘kitchen sink’ period of art, and I loved the subject matter, and could see that many of the works were quality, even if the subjects were simple.”

Judy was Chairman of the Norfolk and Norwich Art Circle, has sat on many arts festival committees, and has appeared on television and radio.  She also painted herself, and spent a period teaching at Hethersett Old Hall School, alongside Cavendish Morton, who died last year aged 103.

Since retiring she has settled on the island of Gozo in Malta, where she has continued her interest in the visual arts, mounting several exhibitions, mainly of British artists.