The Genius of Grinling Gibbons

Saturday 14 April – 14 September 2018

Fairfax House is delighted to announce the recent acquisition of Grinling Gibbons’ ‘King David Panel’ the earliest-known, surviving work by Gibbons – made in York. Saved from international export and potential obscurity in a private collection, this magnificent work now forms part of the permanent collection at Fairfax House.

To celebrate the ‘home-coming’ of this exquisite piece of craftsmanship and to illuminate the extraordinary skill of Grinling Gibbons’ – the Michelangelo of Wood – Fairfax House will be mounting a major new exhibition in 2018, The Genius of Grinling Gibbons: From Journeyman to King’s Carver. Opening on the 370th anniversary of Grinling Gibbons’ birth, this exhibition also marks the 350th year of his arrival in York.

Drawing on new research and bringing together artworks and sculpture by the hand of this iconic individual from across the country (including St Paul’s Cathedral, Hampton Court Palace, the Sir John Soane Museum, V&A to name just a few), The Genius of Grinling Gibbons celebrates Grinling Gibbons’ unequalled talent, his visionary genius, and his ability to transform the medium of wood into something magical. It will explore his development from an obscure journeyman through to becoming the country’s most celebrated master-carver, working for the King himself.