After considerable searching, the gallery owners found their current premises in early 2007, a building initially used as a linen warehouse. Located in the historical Linen District a few steps away from Belfast’s City Hall the Gallery is discreetly located in James Street South opposite Niall McKenna’s award winning restaurant.
Considerable time and effort was spent in turning this empty space into the only one of its kind in Ireland. The interior is sumptuous yet understated and elegant, and would not look out of place in London, Paris or New York where much of the influence comes from for its interior. Abstract work sits comfortably with 18th century masters where fine taste is the common denominator. Our archive and store houses one of Ireland’s most comprehensive private reference libraries dealing with Irish and British painters and sculptors. The classical proportions of the gallery have been admired by Christies and Bonhams, who have used the gallery for their ‘Irish Sale’ previews, which travel the cities of New York, Dublin and London. The gallery has been used for BBC interviews and important book launches.
The owners, Alan Wray and Toby McMurray, are very well experienced in the field of Irish Art and are complimented by Pauline McLarnon who has almost 40 years experience previously with the Bell Gallery 1970-2007 and with James Wray & Co from 2007 to present. Pauline has known personally the many famous names of the past including Colin Middleton, Dan O’Neill and George Campbell. Alan has been buying and selling art and sculpture since 1990’s dealing mainly with the trade he has traveled Europe and further a field to meet buyers and sellers alike.
Toby, having purchased his first pictures from Alan whilst he was at university, joined Alan in dealing in pictures from 2003 before they opened the gallery in 2007.