LONDON—Dame Eileen Atkins, the celebrated actress and co-creator of the original Upstairs, Downstairs, recently opened the John Atkinson Grimshaw exhibition at the Richard Green Gallery (ANL, 9/13/11) on New Bond Street on Sept. 20.
When she was on Desert Island Discs (BBC Radio), she chose a Grimshaw painting as her luxury. Had she been in the market in the 1960s, when Green first started buying Grimshaws, that work would have cost her less than £1,000. In the 1970s, it would have cost a bit more; Green paid £6,100 ($14,600) in 1974 for a view of Broomielaw, Glasgow. Since then, Green has sold and re-bought that painting three times: it is now priced at £700,000 ($1.1 million).
Grimshaw buyers don’t only live in Britain, says Richard Green, but also in America, Russia and the Middle East. In the 1980s, the Japanese bought Grimshaws along with Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.