Meet the Dealer – James Manning

Describe your Business:
Manning Fine Art deals in British Art. We have several specialist areas, twentieth century British art being our main focus. As well as the more obvious areas of Modern British Art we have a strong showing of posters and design, including architectural designs, and – often stepping outside the twentieth century – we have many views of Oxford and Cambridge too.
Founded in 2014 by James Manning and Claire Richards, an art historian, we deal from home, in London SE1, and from our website as well as from fairs.

How Much do you Enjoy Art Fairs?
Art fairs are a great way to meet clients, they are a window on the world (or a window for the world) for a gallery that does not have a high street presence. Moreover they can be a good social affair with other dealers. We enjoy art fairs so much that we set up our own fair, Connect, and are really looking forward to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with other dealers.

And is this what you wanted to be when you grew up?
Who wouldn’t want a job that involved dealing with beautiful items, meeting interesting people and making people happy by introducing them to their heart’s desires. It can be a bit like matchmaking when a buyer comes on a stand, sees something they did not know existed, that they did not know they wanted or needed, and they fall immediately in love and have to have it. It can be frustrating when something that we have seen, fallen in love with, and brought to a fair disappears immediately, and even more frustrating when something we love seems to stir the heart of nobody else.

What is your favourite artwork?
It is always changing, it is the latest new love – whether still around or recently departed and never to be seen again. At the moment we have a bit of a thing for the renowned British surrealist Julian Trevelyan. We can’t wait to see the new exhibition at Pallant House and are delighted to be bringing a selection of oil paints and prints by him. Choosing a single favourite, it is his 1982 painting we are offering of New York Bridges which captures the craziness of New York’s traffic, its myriad bridges, and the skyscrapers; having come directly from the estate of Trevelyan’s wife it has a lovely provenance too.

And what do you prefer for fun, rockin’ or reelin’?
Reelin’ obviously.


07929 749056