Can you help us trace the heirs of these Yorkshire artists?

    We need your help! We’re looking to distribute thousands of pounds in royalties to the heirs of more than 40 Yorkshire artists. Can you help us find them?

    A Yorkshire mystery

    A search is currently underway to find the heirs of over 40 Yorkshire artists who are owed thousands of pounds in royalties.

    All the artists were born or spent their lives working in Yorkshire and we need your help finding them!

    A full list of artists can be seen here

    In the UK and parts of Europe, artists and their estates are entitled to royalties when their copyright-protected work resells on the art market. This is due to the Artist’s Resale Right (ARR).
    In the UK, DACS collects and distributes these royalties to artists and estates. Since the law was introduced in 2006, we’ve distributed over £65 million to nearly 5,000 artists and estates. Occasionally, we receive royalties from sales of unrepresented artists and these go through a formal tracing process.

    Not our first heir hunt

    This is our second campaign tracing unrepresented artists. Last year we successfully located the heirs of over 120 artists due almost £30,000 in royalties – sometimes crossing continents and reuniting families in the process.
    Last year saw us in Scotland, searching for heirs of the 'Glasgow Girls' associated with ‘The Glasgow School’ – a circle of influential artists and designers during the turn of the nineteenth century century who studied and are associated with the world-renowned art school. 

    See the results of last year's Scottish campaign

    From Scotland to Yorkshire, we hope to run these campaigns each year, moving around different regions in the hope of distributing royalties to artists' heirs. We would love it if you could help us along the way.

    Wanted: Goodin, Naviasky, Booth and more

    Walter Goodin (1907-1992)

    A highly respected Hull painter who used Bridlington and its coastline as the inspiration for many of his best works, Walter Goodin was born in 1907 and began his working life as a manual labourer, before a chance encounter with a local lawyer unearthed his artistic talents. He was later mentored by the well-known East Riding artist, Frederick Elwell (1870-1958).

    Philip Naviasky (1894-1983)

    Born in Leeds to Polish-Jewish immigrant parents, Barnet Naviasky (born Berel Neviazhsky) and Fanny (née Levinson), Philip Naviasky won a scholarship to the Leeds School of Fine Arts in 1907. In 1912, he was the youngest ever student accepted into the Royal Academy school and went on to win a Royal Exhibition award and to study at the Royal College of Art. He spent his career in Leeds as an artist and art teacher at Leeds College of Art and was a well-known portrait and landscape painter in Yorkshire. He later married Millie Naviasky, who died in 1994.

    James William Booth (1867-1953)

    Born in Middleton in Manchester, James William Booth studied at Manchester School of Art under Elias Bancroft. He moved to Scalby in 1901 and was a member of the Staithes Group of artists, the Manchester Academy and the Royal Cambrian Academy. In 1929 he married Lilian Hunter, daughter of the Yorkshire wicket keeper David Hunter.

    View the full list of Yorkshire artists here

    How you can help

    Think you have a lead? Please get in touch with our Artists’ Services Team at

    Time is running out to unite these heirs with the ARR royalties owed to them. After six years, where heirs aren’t found, we return the royalties to the gallery, auction house or dealer that sold the work.

    You can also help us by sharing this article with your networks or on social media using the hashtag #YorkshireArtMystery

    For further information, download our press release here.

    Related links:

    Learn more about the Artist's Resale Right for artists and artist estates  
    Gallery, auction house or dealer? Submit your recent sales details here  
    Join DACS as an artist's estate

    Image: Eye Glass Porthole, 2004 © Peter Finnemore. All Rights Reserved, DACS/Artimage 2018.

    Posted on 17/07/2018 by Laura Ward-Ure