Two masterpieces painted by Peter Brueghel the younger, which were gifted to Arbroath in the 1800s might one day be transferred for permanent exhibition at Hospitalfield House arts centre.
This was revealed to members of Arbroath Rotary Club by Hospitalfield director Lucy Byatt. Referring to a memorandum of understanding with Angus Council to support various key priorities in partnership from education to arts development, Ms Byatt said the paintings could move to Hospitalfield in the longer term on condition that a purpose-built gallery is completed to display them.
The gallery would be part of an exciting and ambitious multi-million pound vision for the future of the arts centre at Hospitalfield House.
Ms Byatt described The Future Plan For Hospitalfield which aims to: care for its heritage, make the centre more accessible to both artists and the public, create a great and inspiring place for artists to work and to make the centre financially sustainable.
In the project, for which £1.5 million was raised within the first year, plans include restoring the Fernery, creating a cafe overlooking the walled garden, renovating studios behind the main house, building a new sedum-roofed residential space for visiting artists, and creating another space to open up the centre’s archives. Ms Byatt said that former owner Patrick Allan Fraser made it very clear that he wanted Hospitalfield House to be developed as a residential art school after his death. Until now, that had only been possible through land sales. “I hope that approach has now finished,” Lucy said. “Our aims include providing support for young artists of the future and making our heritage and art accessible to the general public.” Ms Byatt was thanked by Maurice Napier and president-elect David Miller was in the chair.