Brian and David first met in 1961 when David was offered the French teaching post at St. Asaph Grammar School and Brian was offered the Mathematics post, at the same time. Frustrated within his chosen career, David informed Brian of his plan to leave teaching and they both decided to set up a picture business together. After resigning, David bought the gallery in Todmorden which, since 1920, had previously been a branch of Freeman, Hardy and Willis. Brian worked hard renovating the property and getting the gallery up to a high standard of decoration. By October 1981, the gallery was ready to open.
Their first gallery stock was the huge group of contemporary paintings that David had collected over the previous twenty years. Brian undertook the job of framing and David dealt with the paintings. Both did very well, and soon established a large number of works by the now hugely popular artist Geoffrey Key.
In 2000, David and Brian found the work of William Ralph Turner who, after a period of early art success, had been forgotten. When they visited William's home, there were over 1000 unsold works. These, and many others sold over the next few years and now, of course, he is now seen as a major influence in the Northern art scene, as is Geoffrey Key and Peter Stanaway.
Sadly, Brian, who was a keen mountaineer, decided in 2009 to go up Mount Snowden, as it was his favourite mountain to climb - tragically, he lost his footing and fell to his death at the age of seventy. The shock of his sudden death hit many, especially his partner, June.
Stephen, his son, often visited his dad here at Todmorden Fine Art and watched him framing - though Stephen and his wife now run their own business, it is Stephen who now does the framing here at Todmorden Fine Art.
In the past 40+ years, the works of many great Northern artists such as Gordon Radford, Don McIntyre, Sue Atkinson, Don McKinlay, Mike Knowles, Lucy Manfredi, Reg Gardner, Nicholas Horsfield, Ian Norris, Liam Spencer etc, have all passed through the gallery doors.
Thank you to Lee Harrison for the use of his photography.
David Gunning at Todmorden Fine Art remains one of the most respected, honest, and intelligent gallerists in the north of England.
With a back catalogue that reads like the greatest hits of Northern art from the past 40 years, his current stable contains something for everyone. From world-class landscape paintings by Mike Knowles, to the northern cubism of Peter Stanaway.
If you want a painting sold with integrity, knowledge, and passion, see Dave Gunning.