Lever as a collector of watercolours and drawings

Lever's taste was relatively traditional and this section of the exhibition reflects the range of his original collection. He acquired a small number of 18th century works but his purchases were dominated by 19th century artists, including the Pre-Raphaelites and the later generation of Victorians like George Pinwell and Frederick Walker.

He rarely purchased watercolours and drawings direct from the artists. This section illustrates the relationships he established with the London-based dealers Agnew's and Gooden and Fox. He continued buying artworks from these dealers until shortly before his death in 1925.

Lever's earlier purchases were made when he had less money. They were often cheaper and were of interest to him for their decorative effect. His purchase of Helen Allingham's 'Old Cottage, Pinner' in 1896 marks a more serious and systematic approach to collecting. By 1918 Lever's wealth enabled him to buy more 'big name' artists like JMW Turner. Also displayed in this section is George Apperley's 'The Death of Procris', a rare example of a picture that was sold by the Trustees after Lever's death then later re-purchased for the collection.

Gallery of works

Follow the links below to see the paintings from this section.