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Important Paintings Gifted to the Stirling Smith Art Gallery


Gifts of paintings to galleries are rare, due to programmes such as Antiques Roadshow and What's It Worth highlighting the monetary value of family treasures. However, there are still public spirited individuals, who regardless of the value of their possessions, choose to support their public galleries through making gifts. Recently, the Smith has received two important works.

The first is an oil painting, Towards Newburgh by William Miller Frazer RSA PSSA (1864-1961), a distinguished Scottish artist who was born in Scone, and had a long and acclaimed career both at home and abroad. Towards Newburgh is a good example of his work.
He had a love of painting reeds by rivers, and was a frequent visitor to the Fens of England. His paintings have great subtlety and in his own words - the words of Psalm 23 - transmit the peace of 'pastures green...and quiet waters by'.
His work can be found in the gallery collections of Edinburgh, Paisley and Perth, and the Smith Trustees are pleased to have such a fine example for Stirling.
The painting was gifted by the artist's granddaughter.

A watercolour of Kippen entitled End of the Village by Alexander P Thomson (d.1962) is another welcome donation. It came to light in a surprising way, when many years ago, it was found in the back of a picture frame by stained glass artist Alex Gilfillan.
The location was unidentified, and Alex and his wife Sheena spent years trying to identify the scene on their travels. About 30 years ago, they recognised the place as Kippen. One of the villagers not only confirmed that the crow step gabled building in the picture had been demolished, but identified the figure in the painting as Wilhelmina Miller, the servant of fellow artist and friend Sir D Y Cameron. Thomson was a frequent guest at Dun Eaglis, D Y's home in Kippen.
Although Alex and Sheena Gilfillan of Lenzie have treasured this painting with its social and art history for years, they decided that the Smith should be its permanent home.

Both paintings are currrently on show at the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum.

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