Thyssen Collection

I was interested to read in this month’s Art Newspaper of the strenuous efforts made by Margaret Thatcher to secure the Thyssen Collection.   I knew about this because there was a proposal, which does not appear in the government papers which have been released, to offer Thyssen the building of the National Portrait Gallery and to move the Portrait Gallery to a very prominent site on the river by Canary Wharf.   The proposal was enthusiastically supported by John Hayes, the gallery’s then Director, but not by the Trustees who were determined that it should remain on what they described as ‘the processional route’ (ie close to parliament, Whitehall and Trafalgar Square).   Although the Art Newspaper describes Robin Butler as having conducted the negotiations, I have always understood the key figure to have been Sir Claude Hankes-Drielsma, a collector said to have been an ally of Thatcher.

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2 thoughts on “Thyssen Collection

  1. Having just been to Madrid and seen the Thyssen collection, thank goodness it never took over the NPG building. It couldn’t be in a better position and its collection more relevant than next to the Prado, It would have been nice though if The great though tiny, Holbein three quarter length of Henry VIII and the Freud of Thyssen himself had been left to the NPG.

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