Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1956-2015 - Maresfield Gardens (Hampstead)

Art dealer Anita Claudia Besson was born in Zurich on 18 September 1933. In 1948 she began paying regular visits to London, finally settling there in 1956. Four years later she secured a job as registrar at Marlborough Fine Art, working for Viennese refugees Frank Lloyd [born: Franz Kurt Levai] and Harry Fischer [born: Heinrich Robert Fischer]. In this internationally known gallery she established contact with many prominent artists (she was close to Henry Moore).

In 1970 Lloyd and Fischer went their individual ways. She continued work as a director at Fischer Fine Art, just across Piccadilly. At the time of her naturalisation in December 1978, she was living at no. 30 Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead. In 1988 she opened Galerie Besson with a show by her friend Lucie Rie. For the first time, London had a prestigious Bond Street venue solely devoted to studio ceramics. From her prestigious location at no. 15 Royal Arcade, she introduced British audiences to ceramicists from different parts of the world. She closed her gallery in June 2011. Over twenty-three years Besson organised 245 exhibitions. She died in October 2015.

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