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An Architect’s Eye: The Peter Collymore Gift

[ Exhibition )

A young woman with dark curly hair wearing a flower crown facing right.

Pablo Picasso, Vingt Poems de Gongora, 1948, Aquatint on paper, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester (The Peter Collymore Gift, 2016) © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2019

The architect Peter Collymore follows in a tradition of other architects who were passionate art collectors, whose collections have come to us for the benefit of the public.

Collymore’s generous gift includes works by Pablo Picasso, Paul Nash, Eileen Agar and more, complimenting our existing ‘collection of collections’.

Peter Collymore MA (Cantab), AADip, RIBA, studied architecture at Cambridge and then at the Architectural Association, London.  He was in private practice after working in the USA and taught at the Canterbury School of Architecture. He contributed to a number of architectural journals as well as being author of several books on architecture and the architect Ralph Erskine. As well as designing the Library building for the Britten-Pears Foundation (BPF) on the site of The Red House in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, he also designed the studio for the artist Mary Potter.

As an architect, Collymore was aware of the cross-fertilisation of ideas between Britain and Europe, within not only architecture, but also literature, music and the visual arts. The collection includes drawings, paintings, prints and sculptures by leading Modern British and European artists such as Pablo Picasso, Paul Nash, Eileen Agar, Prunella Clough, John Piper and Georges Rouault. Many of the works have an abstract quality, reflecting a collector drawn to artists with an interest in the relationship of space and form such as Paul Huxley RA, William Crozier, Trevor Bell, Anthony Caro, William Scott and John Wells. Other works have a greater connection to poetry and literature, such as a rare proof of Paul Nash’s ‘Winter Hampden’ and Pablo Picasso’s ‘Vingt Poems de Gongora’.

This exhibition was made possible by a number of generous organisations and individuals

Want to know more?

If you’re conducting research into this artist or another aspect of Modern British art and would like to use our library and archive, please contact Sarah Norris, Collections Manager on

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