Property developer Harry Hyams has left his art collection to the nation in his will, and – Victorian sentimentality aside – it contains some of the brightest jewels of British culture
Thank God for private collectors. They follow their own tastes and enthusiasms, don’t have to listen to critics or follow fashion and, in buying the art they love, end up enriching us all.
Harry Hyams was that kind of collector. It has been revealed that this multimillionaire property developer – the man behind Centre Point, London – who died in December 2015 has left his art collection to the nation and dedicated £387m from his estate to pay for its maintenance and display. It is a collection that not only enriches us all, but offers a welcome corrective to the widespread and apparently growing ignorance of British art history that stops us valuing the real achievements of British artists down the ages.