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Ian Davenport, Melismatic at Alan Cristea Gallery 2017 | Photo courtesy Alan Cristea
Ian Davenport, Melismatic at Alan Cristea Gallery 2017 | Photo courtesy Alan Cristea
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The Best Art Galleries in St James's

Picture of Holly Black
Updated: 22 August 2017
In this affluent area surrounding Pall Mall there are plenty of places to examine masterpieces from throughout the ages. Whether you’re into Tudor portraiture or contemporary sculpture, you’re bound to find something inspiring. Here’s our pick of the area’s top galleries.
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Thomas Dane

Before the gallery opened in 2004 Thomas Dane had been working behind the scenes, supporting artists and advising clients. The inaugural exhibition featured work by acclaimed artist and director Steve McQueen, cementing the gallery as an important trendsetter when it came to emerging artists, with particular interests in film-based practices. It has also collaborated with the Art Fund to help place video works in museum collections throughout the UK.

Thomas Dane, 11 Duke Street St James’s, London SW1Y 6BN, +44 20 7925 2505

Terry Adkins, Solitude, 2017. Installation view | Courtesy of Thomas Dane Gallery, London. © Luke A. Walker

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Chris Beetles

Founded by Chris Beetles in 1975, this gallery focuses on paintings and sculpture from the 18th, 19th and 20th century including watercolours, sculpture and cartoons. It holds an incredible selection of original pieces from the likes of E H Shepard and Ronald Searle. Every November the gallery hosts ‘The Illustrators’ exhibition, featuring over 1,000 works for sale.

Chris Beetles,8-10 Ryder St, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6QB, +44 20 7839 7551

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White Cube, Mason’s Yard

Infamous art collector Jay Jopling was an instrumental force in the YBA’s stratospheric rise to fame, and opened his first gallery in a tiny space on Duke Street. The small proportions dictated a succinct curatorial strategy, where artists were invited to present one single work. Since then White Cube has gone on to be one of the most globally recognised commercial galleries in the world, with two branches in London as well as Hong Kong. The Mason’s Yard gallery was opened in 2006, just around the corner from the original gallery. The slick, freestanding block inhabits the middle of this historic London square, taking the place of an old electricity sub-station. It presents shows from White Cube’s exceptional roster of artists, including Theaster Gates, Gilbert and George, and Sam Taylor-Johnson.

White Cube, 25-26 Masons Yard, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6BU, +44 20 7930 5373

White Cube Mason’s Yard | © Heidi De Vries/Flickr

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Bowman Sculpture

As the leading authority on Auguste Rodin and a specialist dealer in sculpture from 1860 to the present day, Robert Bowman has made his gallery the number one destination for sculpture history. The space regularly holds solo shows of European masters, as well as key players in the most significant art movements from the 20th century; including Impressionism, Cubism, and Modernism, as well as showcasing more contemporary artists such as Lynn Chadwick and Elizabeth Frink.

Bowman Sculpture, 6 Duke Street, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6BN, +44 20 7930 0277

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Bernard Jacobson

In 2015, Bernard Jacobson opened on Duke Street, after over 20 years of work in the art business. The gallery began by publishing and distributing prints by famous artists such as Lucian Freud, David Hockney and Leon Kossoff. Although that remains central to the business, the gallery now exhibits all manner of painting, sculpture and other media, particularly modern masters such as Ben Nicholson and Kurt Schwitters.

Bernard Jacobson, 28 Duke Street, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6AG, +44 20 7734 3431

Matisse exhibition installation at Bernard Jacobson | Courtesy of Bernard Jacobson

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Rossi & Rossi

Anna Maria Rossi founded her gallery in 1985, specialising in antique works in the field of Indian, Himalayan and South East Asian Art. Both her and her son (who joined in 1988) have collaborated with major international museums in order to acquire important works and the London gallery (there are now several branches) hosts classical and contemporary viewings by appointment.

Rossi & Rossi, 21 Georgian House, 10 Bury Street, London SW1Y 6AA, +44 20 7629 6888

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Alan Cristea

Having recently moved to a larger, bespoke premises on Pall Mall, Alan Cristea has continued to build on the legacy of its founder, presenting large-scale exhibitions and commissioning contemporary prints and editions. The gallery represents well-established contemporary artists such as Michael Craig-Martin, Ian Davenport, Idris Khan and Cornelia Parker, as well as modern artist estates such as Anni and Josef Albers, and Richard Hamilton.

Alan Cristea, 43 Pall Mall, St. James’s, London SW1Y 5JG, +44 20 7439 1866

Ian Davenport, Melismatic at Alan Cristea Gallery 2017 | Photo courtesy Alan Cristea

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Colnaghi

Colnaghi is one of the oldest commercial galleries in the world. It was opened in 1783 by Paul Colnaghi, whose astute business mind saw him recognised by the city’s elite as a dealer of fantastic knowledge and taste. This lead him to gain patronage from the Prince Regent and strike up a close friendship with John Constable. The firm has since gone through several different ownerships but it still maintains a commitment to scholarship and shows an incredible variety of historic works, including Old Masters, German Renaissance and Dutch Golden Age paintings.

Colnaghi, 26 Bury St, London SW1Y, +44 20 7491 7408

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Philip Mould

As one of the country’s leading portrait experts Philip Mould has has uncovered lost works by Van Dyck and Gainsborough, he is also a former art adviser to the Palace of Westminster and is a well-known broadcaster. His gallery on Pall Mall houses treasures of British art and Old Masters, covering everything from delicate miniatures to Tudor court painting.

Philip Mould, 18-19 Pall Mall, St. James’s, London SW1Y 5LU, +44 20 7499 6818

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Skarstedt

Skarstedt began life in New York back in 1994, but has recently opened a second London-based space on the corner of Arlington Street and Bennet Street. It shares the same curatorial strategy as its American counterpart, showcasing solo exhibitions as well as thematic group shows such as ‘Double Take’; which explored how modern and contemporary artists have used mass media imagery to question sexuality and gender, throughout three interconnected galleries.

Skarstedt, 8 Bennet St, St. James’s, London SW1A 1RP, +44 20 7499 5200

Installation view of ‘Rosmarie Trockel: Knitted Works’ at Skarstedt, London | Courtesy of Skarstedt