The couple, who live in South Cave, both taught art to generations of students, mostly at the then Leeds College of Art, but shied away from the limelight themselves – until now.
The decision to sell their collection of works, which the couple estimate includes some 2,000 paintings and 1,500 sculptures, led to an appearance on Really’s The Yorkshire Auction House, which sees auctioneer Angus Ashworth count with l ‘art.
Mr and Mrs Hainsworth both met and trained at the famous Slade School of Fine Art in London under, among others, Sir William Coldstream, who graduated in the early 1960s.
A scholarship took Mr Hainsworth, now 84, to Italy for a year before returning home to teach.
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Mr Hainsworth retired in 2000 from his role at the college, now known as Leeds Arts University, and his wife retired the same year from her role as visiting art teacher at primary schools in the region.
Many of the works created by the couple and which are now on sale were made to illustrate methods for budding artists, he explained.
He said: “The body of work has accrued because as part of our teaching, personally – and I’m thinking of Lucy as well – I fed into the work we were doing ourselves into our teaching philosophy.
“Therefore, it was a quarry of materials that we would draw from for exhibitions or to show work to students, we had work that matched our philosophy and beliefs.
“Our philosophy was based on a search for meaning in terms of what one thought about the world, life and politics – and this is a constant concern.
“My wife was from South Africa and did a lot of work on political activity there. Ukraine.
Filming for The Yorkshire Auction House episode saw the normally reserved couple in front of the cameras.
Speaking from the experience, Mr Hainsworth said: ‘We were new to the technique of interviews and it was quite an eye opener.
“When you watch television, you don’t realize all the sorts of editing and reshoots that took place – in our experience – but it was fascinating. And when we saw the TV program, it seemed pretty seamless.
“They did a very good job and a very tactful job – with an emphasis not on selling the work, but on the fact that we were very lucky to have the opportunity, as two people aspiring to be creative, to do this work.”
For Ms Hainsworth, 86, who specializes in printing, the sale of the work raises hope that others can be inspired by the art.
She said: ‘It has accrued and we are renting the large auction house shed where filming took place in Kirkbymoorside.
“It’s stacked to the ceiling with paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings and all that work from the last 60 years.”
“So it’s about trying to expose it to others a bit.”
To inquire about purchasing an item from the Hainsworths collection, email [email protected]