New masterpieces are firsts for gallery

Two stunning new paintings have gone on display in the galleries at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts – both of them new acquisitions to the permanent collection, and both major ‘firsts’.

Nude: Miss Bentham, painted in 1906, by the American artist George Bellows, has been purchased for the University-based gallery by its trustees, the Henry Barber Trust. It is the gallery’s first studio nude – and was previously owned by none other than the father of Pop Art, Andy Warhol. It is also only the second picture by Bellows – probably the most important painter of New York’s so-called ‘Ashcan School’ – in a UK collection: the National Gallery, London, bought the first example in February 2014.