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A painting by Ivon Hitchens showing abstract shapes of various colours, mostly blue tones around the edges, with yellows reds and browns towards the centre

The Hussey Bequest

This gift to Chichester District in 1985 led to the foundation of Pallant House Gallery.

The Gallery’s founding collection was bequeathed by the Reverend Walter Hussey (1909-1985).

Hussey is known for commissioning modern artists such as Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland and John Piper to create work for the Church.

As Vicar of St Matthew’s in Northampton (1937-55) he commissioned Henry Moore’s iconic Madonna and Child (1943-44) and Graham Sutherland’s powerful The Crucifixion (1946). As Dean of Chichester Cathedral from (1955-1977) he commissioned a tapestry by John Piper, a set of copes by Ceri Richards, an altarpiece by Sutherland, a stained glass window by Marc Chagall, and furnishings by Geoffrey Clarke.

Hussey’s private art collection grew from his interest in theatre as a student, when he began to purchase costume and stage designs. His tastes were wide and varied, encompassing works by Old Masters such as Albrecht Dürer and Thomas Gainsborough to contemporary paintings by Frank Auerbach, Graham Sutherland, John Piper and more. He also collected studio ceramics and historic furniture, thus amassing an important and diverse collection.

The generous offer of his collection to the Chichester District made upon his retirement fuelled the foundation of Pallant House Gallery since Hussey made the gift dependent on the restoration of the Queen Anne townhouse to display his artworks. Hussey believed that there was no incongruity in setting the art of different periods side by side as long as the quality is high, which remains one of our guiding principles.

Discover highlights from the Hussey Bequest below.

A painting by Ivon Hitchens showing abstract shapes of various colours, mostly blue tones around the edges, with yellows reds and browns towards the centre

Ivon Hitchens, Sussex River, near Midhurst (1965)

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (Hussey Bequest, Chichester District Council, 1985)

Painting by Graham Sutherland depicting an abstract orange crescent on base. Thorn like objects prtrude from all its surfaces.

Graham Sutherland, Thorn Head (1947)

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (Hussey Bequest, Chichester District Council, 1985) © The estate of Graham Sutherland

A painting by Paul Nash depicting a wood standing atop gently rolling hills under a grey sky

Paul Nash, Wittenham (1935)

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (Hussey Bequest, Chichester District Council, 1985)

Painting by John Minton depicting a young man in khaki sitting in a chair with his hands clasped in his lap.

John Minton, Portrait of David Tindle as a Boy (c. 1952)

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (Hussey Bequest, Chichester District Council, 1985) © Royal College of Art

A woodcut by Albrecht Dürer depicting a family resting next to some delapidated buildings and surrounded by angels and cherubs

Albrecht Dürer, Repose on the Flight into Egypt (c.1504)

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (Hussey Bequest, Chichester District Council, 1985)

A painting by Christopher Wood depicting more then a dozen lemons sat in a blue wicker basket

Christopher Wood, Lemons in a Blue Basket (1922)

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (Hussey Bequest, Chichester District Council, 1985)

A pale watercolour by David Jones depicting a budding tree against a blue sky

David Jones, Laetare-Sunday Thrush (1948)

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (Hussey Bequest, Chichester District Council, 1985)

Painting by David Bomberg depicting an expressionistic view of a bridge crossing a deep gorge. White buildings on cliffs either side.

David Bomberg, Ronda Bridge (1935)

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (Hussey Bequest, Chichester District Council, 1985)

A painting by Frank Auerbach depicting a head in whites and orange facing upwards against a dark blue background. Painted with thick heavy brushstrokes, the painting is almost abstract.

Frank Auerbach, Reclining Head of Gerda Boehm (1982)

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (Hussey Bequest, Chichester District Council, 1985)