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Fairfax House

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Saving Grinling Gibbons' first masterpiece for York, Yorkshire and the Nation

Fairfax House, the finest Georgian Townhouse in England, is mounting a major campaign and fund-raising appeal to save this precious work of art from international export and sale, and to ensure permanent public access to it in its place of creation. Grinling Gibbons (1648-1721), The Michelangelo of Wood, is without question one of Britain’s greatest decorative woodcarvers, celebrated for giving the medium of wood the ‘airy lightness of a flower’. In c1668-70 he created the King David Panel. This exquisite York-made work of art is of both incomparable national and local significance.

Fairfax House wishes to take this once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire and save it for York, Yorkshire and the nation. Our aim is that this testament to the visionary genius of the ‘King’s Carver’ will create a lasting legacy, demonstrating to new generations the extraordinary things that could be created from the medium of wood by the hand of one individual.

The acquisition of the King David Panel would enrich beyond measure this small but highly significant collection, already recognised for its ability to reveal Britain's truly great craftsmanship in a pre-industrial age.

So far we have managed to raise just over £240,000 thanks to grant support from the HLF, Artfund and V&A Purchase Fund. We now have £60,000 left to raise towards acquiring and displaying the panel. Could you help support us in this campaign?

Charity No: 229336

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