Fylde Gallery is a hidden treasure inside Booth’s supermarket in Lytham. Whilst this is an unusual setting for an art gallery, the reasons behind it are interlinked with the history of the town.
The Lytham St Annes Art Collection began in 1925 when John Booth (of Booths supermarket prominence) donated the oil on canvas painting by Richard Ansdell called Herd Lassie. He hoped that he would be able to give the town an art gallery, but regretfully was unable to at this time. The collection grew further when Alderman James Dawson donated fifty paintings and sculptures in the 1930s. His first donations were Richard Ansdell’s Partridge Shooting and a Hercules sculpture by an unknown artist.
In 2007 John Booth’s vision was realised when his family provided an art gallery space in their new Lytham store. Directly adjacent to the Booth’s café, it provided an inviting space to showcase artefacts and paintings from the Lytham St Annes Art Collection which is conserved and curated by Fylde Council. The space also offers a venue for local artists and community groups to display their work.
Since its opening the Fylde Art Gallery has showcased some of the finest artworks from the Lytham St Annes Art Collection, as well as pieces from the local schools and the local art community including the Lytham St Annes Photographic Society. Past exhibitions have highlighted thought-provoking collections, including the Food for Thought exhibition in 2017 using Richard Ansdell’s artwork in a culinary context, and the 2012 Right to Play exhibition celebrating the 65th anniversary of Unicef with child-focused artwork.