Thos. Agnew & Sons, fine arts dealers, was established by Thomas Agnew (1794–1871) in Manchester in 1817 and it opened its London gallery in 1860. Girtin’s works featured prominently in its annual selling exhibitions until the gallery closed in 2013 and the Stock Books, held by the archive of the National Gallery in London, consequently include valuable information on their provenance. Relevant entries from the Stock Books up to 1922 are transcribed in the Documents section of the Archive. A hundred-year embargo on access to the records means that this material will need to be updated annually.
Thomas Agnew & Sons, known commonly as Agnew’s, organised a special Loan Exhibition of Water-Colour Drawings by Thomas Girtin in 1953 as a precursor to the catalogue of the artist’s works put together by Thomas Girtin (1874–1960) for inclusion in his The Art of Thomas Girtin (Girtin and Loshak, 1954) (Exhibitions: Agnew’s, 1953a). The Annual Exhibition of Selected Water Colour Drawings in 1931 also included a substantial group of loans of Girtin’s works, shown to illustrate his position at the head of the ‘British School’ of watercolours (Exhibitions: Agnew’s, 1931). All of the exhibitions that included works by Girtin, either individually or as a collaborator with Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), have been recorded in the Exhibitions section of the Archive.