Lincolnshire Echo, 12 November 1959

Art Gallery's New Wing Open

Built at a cost of 14,400 as a result of a bequest to the city by a former sculptress whose works are represented in the Usher Art Gallery, the new Curtois Wing of the Art Gallery was opened in Lincoln by a Lincoln-born man whose family held the rectorship of Branston for 210 years - a record unparalled in church history.

The bequest was made by the late Miss Ella Rose Curtois, who spent most of her life in Paris, and the opening ceremony was perfromed by her first cousin, the Rev. Peregrine Arthur Curtois, now living in semi-retirement at Ipswich.

The new wing provides additional exhibition space as well as much needed storage accomodation and room for working on the restoration of paintings.

Presiding, the chairman of the Lincoln Library, Museum and Art Gallery Committee, Councillor W. J. Bell, said that Mr. Curtois was born at Northgate Cottage, Lincoln. He was admitted to the freedom of the city in 1914, as was his father before him.

Gracious Lady

Councillor Bell said they were paying respects to a gracious lady who, by her magnificent bequest, had made the extension possible.
"This day, I am quite sure, will become quite a memorable day for me," he said. "When I took charge of the committe, and knew the full details of the bequest, I dreamed that an extension could be made."
In his address, Mr. Curtois said the new wing added yet another gem in the architectural beauties in Lincoln.

Unbroken Chain

Saying that he was the nearest surviving relative of Miss Curtois, the donor, he went on: "Her grandfather and my great-grandfather was the Rev. Peregrine Curtois, who was Rector of Branston from 1815 to 1847. He had two sons, the elder being rector of Branston till his death in 1891 - in passing ending an unbroken chain of 210 years of Curtois rectors at Branston.

Mr Curtois spoke of the family tree, and said that his godfather was the Rev. Algernon Curtois, who was ordained in Lincoln Minster, but owing to an accident at college, he took no livings. He lived in Lincoln helping the church for 30 years.

"He will be remembered for his gallant fight with others to save St. Benedicts from destruction, and, without success, St. Peter-at -Arches," he said.
Ella Rose Curtois, he said, devoted herself to sculpture. "She must have learned this from her father, the Rector of Branston, who lived at a house called Long Hills, about halfway between Branston and Potterhanworth.

Fine Carving

"At Branston Church, there is a fine carved screen, part of which was carved by Ella and part by her father. Some of her carvings were displayed in the Art Gallery in Lincoln, among them being the slave girl, and the boy playing marbles."
Recalling his early days in Lincoln, Mr. Curtois said his strongest recollection was of the Minster, where he used to insist on being taken as a child.
"Of the people in the Cathedral, I do remember very well Bishop Edward King, who is one who is rightly revered as a Saint today."

Mr Curtois added: "I have the warmest place in my heart for the City and County of Lincoln."

Lincoln Paintings

Proposing a vote of thanks, the Mayor of Lincoln (Ald. F. W. G. Todd) said Mr. Curtois had opened a room which was full of paintings of Lincoln itself, irrespective of who painted them. He said that visitors included representatives from Birmingham, Derby, Kettering, Leicester, Mansfield, Newark, Nottingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Warwick and Wednesbury.
He went on: "In modern times, Lincoln has made a remarkable job in that they have retained all the interesting parts - it is still Old Lincoln - but we have our own modern development which caters for our residents and will cater better for visitors as the years go by."
Main contractors for the building were H. Dorrington and Sons, Ltd., Gainsborough; forced flow convection heating was by G. N. Haden and Sons, Ltd., of Lincoln; electrical fittings were supplied and installed by C. E. Hudson and Son, Lincoln.

Other contractors included Mastic Asphalt, and Flexi-Mastic Roofs and Asphalts. Ltd., Lincoln.

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