Following many years as a collector, John Noott established his gallery business near Kidderminster in 1972. By 1976 it was clear that a more dynamic location would be a good thing, resulting in a move to Broadway in the north Cotswolds, a village noted for its art and antique businesses.
During the ensuing forty years the character of stock gradually changed to reflect current taste. In the early days almost the entire stock comprised of nineteenth century oils and watercolours, but in the 1990s contemporary art was introduced. This tended to confuse clients, so to delineate matters more clearly a separate premises was acquired to show the contemporary paintings, trading as ‘Broadway Modern’, and under the direction of John’s daughter Amanda.
Meanwhile, the emphasis in the main stock changed, as works of the twentieth century became more sought after, and this now forms a high proportion of the inventory. An early user of the internet, John Noott Galleries rely increasingly on this medium, so much so that the traditional side of the business is now largely conducted online, or by appointment from Farnham House, the Noott home in the village.
The choice of Farnham House was very appropriate. It was occupied in 1885 by the American artist Frank Davis Millett, who entertained his artist friends, including John Singer Sargent RA, who painted his famous work ‘Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose’ (now in Tate Britain) in the garden there. The connection with the ‘Broadway Colony’ is now celebrated biennially with the Broadway Arts Festival.
A traditional family business, John Noott Galleries continue to offer quality paintings and a personal service to all their customers.