Latest News and Blogs

George Cunningham

We are very lucky at Sheffield Auction Gallery to handle a wide array of beautiful art work.

16/05/2024     Blog

We are very lucky at Sheffield Auction Gallery to handle a wide array of beautiful art work. I am always drawn to local Yorkshire scenes and George Cunningham (1924-1996) has to be one of Sheffield’s best known and loved artists.

This week a lady, who now lives in Sussex, brought us a collection of around a dozen watercolours and signed prints of George’s work which were collected by her late parents. There are some lovely examples typical of the artists work depicting Sheffield Street scenes and surrounding villages. I especially like the snowy winter scenes and these are the most desirable at auction and can fetch up to £1,000.

George was born in Sheffield in 1924 to a working class family and lived on Michael Road.  He loved to walk the streets of Sheffield and observe the people he encountered which would later become inspiration for his paintings. He spent his early career working in the cutlery trade and during his lunch breaks would visit the famous Sheffield Art Shop Hibbert Brothers to buy paints and brushes. The owners recalled George never looked the gallery of works at the shop as he thought he might be discouraged by the other artist excellence. They persuaded George to attend a local art class but the tutor told him he would never made it as a commercial artist- how wrong they were!

George was not put off by this and continued to paint eventually bringing a selection of his works to show his friends at Hibbert Brothers. They decided to display them in the gallery and they were an instant success and so began George’s long connection selling his works at Hibbert Brothers.

Another very sought after Sheffield artist and friend of George’s is Joe Scarborough (Born 1938) who paints scenes of Sheffield life often depicting the real characters of the city. His first one man show was at the Attic cafe near the bus station was very popular and lasted for two years. Sixteen of his paintings are in Sheffield public art collections including his largest work “Sheffield Through the Ages” which is 30 feet x 8 feet and is on display at the Weston Park Museum. We are delighted to selling one of Joe’s oil paintings in our Fine Art sale on June 14th. It’s a lovely colourful Sheffield scene typical of the artists work and depicts a brass band playing in a band stand surrounded by bunting and people watching and going about their daily life. It has an estimate of £3,000-5,000 and I am sure with create a lot of interest in the sale by local collectors.

So if you would like to start a collection of local artists pictures do come down to our auctions. The signed limited edition prints are a good way to start and can be brought as cheaply as £20-40. They are a fascinating way to remember the sights and characters of a bygone Sheffield.