Take an intimate art tour of London’s diverse galleries, examining art and antiques up close with input from gallery staff, and hear the history of public art on Pall Mall.
Over a cup of tea or coffee at St. James Caffè, you can hear the story of how the London public first gained access to the masterworks of Europe and learned to love their own painters. Images of Thomas Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds, playboy miniaturist Richard Cosway and the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery compete with those of the cartoonist James Gillray and Emma Hamilton in the Temple of Hymen. It all happened in London’s elegant St. James’s, where the nouveau riche sought to join the ranks of the aristocracy in the new auction house of James Christie, hoping to acquire the possessions of the dead, bankrupt and sometimes disgraced.
This introduction will be followed by a stroll around King, Duke, Bury and Ryder streets, where we will visit a variety of art and antiques galleries which house everything from medieval paintings, Renaissance armour, 16th-century Turkish tiles, 17th-century Italian paintings, 18th-century British porcelain and maps, 19th-century French bronze sculpture and Impressionist paintings to contemporary paintings, 20th-and-21st-century political cartoons, prints and children’s book illustrations. The gallery staff will be expecting us and, if possible, will take a few minutes to explain some of the art or antiques on display. Time permitting, we could stop in at Christie’s along the way or go to Mason’s Yard to consider the Indica gallery’s past and what’s on at Jay Jopling’s White Cube.
The Pall Mall Art Tour is available Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:30 pm, and lasts just over 2 ½ hours.
The cost is £25 per person. Students and senior citizens may come for £20.
Groups may range from one or two people to no more than four people, as most of the galleries are small.
Book your art tour
Reserve your place for a Tuesday or Thursday tour or arrange a private art tour at your convenience by texting 07805 935403 or contacting Cindy Lawford here.
If you are reserving a place on the day of the art tour, please text or ring 07805 935403.
Getting to your art tour
The meeting point is in front of St. James Caffè, 41 Pall Mall SW1Y 5G. The closest tube stations are Green Park and Piccadilly.
For a private art tour
The cost for a 3-hour private Pall Mall Art Tour is £35 per person, with a concession of £25 for students and senior citizens. Private art tours are available most weekdays, starting from 10 am to 3 pm, and on Saturdays at 10 am only.
“Learning the history of Christie’s and witnessing a live auction was really an eye opener! Cindy brought us to art galleries that we wouldn’t have visited on our own. One gallery staff member spent a good 20 minutes explaining the history of the art pieces in the gallery. Our experience of London has been very much enriched by this tour. We would take another tour with Cindy when we visit again! ”
Eric Sims, Hong Kong