Sell-out exhibition of artist’s lost work

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THE story of the art master and his pupils, whose paintings lay hidden for half a century, has reached the next chapter after an exhibition of their paintings almost sold out.

The works of Stanley Dyson, an art teacher at New Whittington Secondary school in the 1950s, went on exhibition last month at a London art house and have been snapped up by Derbyshire residents and art collectors alike.

“It has been an amazing exhibition, just fantastic,” said Robert Young, of Robert Young Antiques.

“It has been really well received. We had a lot of people turn up on the opening night, and we have sold over 100 pieces.”

He added: “Usually at an exhibition you can expect to sell around 50 per cent of the pieces but this has been much more successful than that.”

The sold paintings, which included many by Dyson’s pupils, ranged in price from £75 to a massive £7,500. But it is a bittersweet tale, as the Old Whittington-born artist died before he could enjoy his success as his art was not discovered until 2007, when hundreds of his and his pupil’s work was found in the attic of his home.

Still, he would no doubt be astonished at his popularity, with notable fans including the new High Sheriff of Derbyshire, David Coke-Steel.

“I found them all fascinating, but I was particularly interested in the ones depicting Derbyshire architecure,” said the High Sheriff, who bought six of the pieces himself. I felt like I was looking at the work of an artist who was so modest, that he didn’t feel inclined to share his talents.”

He will be auctioning a selection of his Dyson’s at an event on June 3, in aid of the High Sheriff’s charity, Derbyshire Crime Beat.

Some of the works can be viewed for free at Chesterfield Museum, as they bought some of the pieces.