Lucian Freud Archive Given to the Nation via the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme, Goodman Derrick Act for the Estate

An extensive collection of sketchbooks, letters and drawings by Lucian Freud has been permanently allocated to the National Portrait Gallery after being offered to the nation in lieu of £2.9 million in inheritance tax.

The application by the artist’s estate was carried out by Diana Rawstron of Goodman Derrick. Diana also acted for the estate in relation to the donation to the public in 2012, 2013 and 2014 of Freud’s collection of works by Corot, Degas, Frank Auerbach, Constable, Michael Andrews, Kosoff, Yeats and Picasso via the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme. 

Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery said the Gallery “is grateful to the executors of Lucian Freud’s estate and Arts Council England’s Acceptance in Lieu Scheme for this very important, extensive and generous gift to the nation. The Gallery has a strong association with Lucian Freud by virtue both of its permanent collection holdings and the highly successful 2012 Lucian Freud Portraits exhibition. This archive, which will in due course be made available to the public, will be a vital source of reference for anyone interested in the life and work of the artist or in portraiture in general.”

The culture minister, Ed Vaizey, said: “This rare collection of Lucian Freud drawings and letters provides a fascinating glimpse into the work of one of our most pioneering artists. Bringing these never-seen-before treasures into public collections means that everyone can enjoy and see the early beginnings that shaped his most celebrated work.”

Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair Arts Council England, said:  “The Acceptance in Lieu scheme has been enriching our museums and galleries for over a century, as does this latest offer from Lucian Freud’s estate. This fascinating archive, which has never been exhibited before, offers us a real insight into the life of one of Britain's most compelling and influential artists.”

Further reading

The National Portrait Gallery’s Press Release

The Guardian’s Report

Arts Council England – Acceptance in Lieu

Goodman Derrick – Art & Cultural Heritage

  • Our Art & Cultural Heritage practice is concerned with all aspects of law as it relates to art, artists and cultural heritage in its widest sense.
  • Goodman Derrick have represented Lucian Freud for many years and have been dealing with the administration of the artist’s estate since his death in 2011.
  • As well as the most recent gift of the artist’s archive the firm has worked with Arts Council England to donate to the public Freud’s collection of works by Frank Auerbach, Van Gogh, Constable, Gainsborough and Picasso via the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme.  The offers made by the Executors of the Freud Estate were the largest in the history of the scheme generating a tax credit so far of over £19 million. 

For more information

Diana Rawstron
Goodman Derrick

T: +44 (0)20 7404 0606