The art world has witnessed extraordinary changes over the last fifty years. Many art galleries have come and gone but Mandell’s Gallery, at the top end of Elm Hill, has survived and in fact blossomed. This year the Allen family celebrate fifty years at the helm of this enterprising gallery – a highly-regarded fixture in the vibrant artistic life of Norwich and Norfolk.
Many of us who love art and also buy art can remember vividly the Mandell’s Gallery of yesteryear. Geoffrey Allen, always genial and smartly attired, presided over his gallery space which was indeed distinctive with its rich red velvet curtains. What might have been a slightly hushed atmosphere was often lightened by Geoffrey’s (second) wife Pauline, who together with Whisky their cat, welcomed clients into the gallery. Chat and gossip were as much part of the offer as the Art and therein lies much of the success of the business.
An astute businessman with a fondness for the paintings of the famous Norwich School, it was in 1966 that Geoffrey staged his first Norwich School show in his new gallery named after the next-door passageway – Mandell’s Court. Geoffrey and all subsequent members of the clan still ield enquiries addressed to Mr or Miss Mandell. From the word go, the 1960s design gave the Mandell’s Gallery the bonus of good light, essential in the early days when the artificial lighting was somewhat subdued.
Geoffrey’s son, John, has been involved at Mandell’s off and on for forty years and under his guidance the gallery space has been updated and much improved giving artists two large, light galleries in which to show their works. Over the last five years his daughter Rachel has joined John running the gallery and they have greatly extended the range of exhibiting artists. A glance at the list of artists on the 2016 celebratory programme includes many who can be described as the top names in East Anglia, plus others from beyond this partof the world.
The story of Mandell’s is one of both continuity and vision. I salte John, Tina and Rachel in reaching this landmark anniversary.
As part of our 50th year celebrations we have planned an exciting exhibition programme please check the Future Exhibitions page or sign up to our mailing list in the banner below.
Mandell’s Gallery Elm Hill, Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 1HN +44 (0)1603 626892
Michael Horn 19 February to 11 March 2017
Mandell’s Gallery is pleased to welcome a solo exhibition of paintings and drawings by Michael Horn
‘In more recent work I have attempted to retain something of the purer abstract and emblematic nature of earlier work whilst adding, mostly, something of the character and mood of the area in which I live – North Norfolk. A sense of place but not a specific viewpoint leads me to seek, a continuation in the tradition of English landscape painting. Weavers Way, which I cycle and walk along, is both a literal path and a metaphor for the journey of the painting and of oneself. I am on a narrow path – highways are elsewhere.’