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24 Church St, Falmouth : 01326 319461
The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society

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Talks // Coming up // AHL: Alfred De Pass (1861 – 1952) Art Collector & Philanthropist
30 November

AHL: Alfred De Pass (1861 – 1952) Art Collector & Philanthropist

Alfred De Pass, a South African businessman, embarked on his honeymoon trip to Falmouth in 1888. Impressed by the location, he returned in 1895 to establish his holiday home, Cliffe House, along the picturesque seafront. With a passion for art cultivated during his travels, De Pass adorned his residence with a collection of artworks. It was during his time in Falmouth that he encountered the renowned artist Henry Scott Tuke, forging connections with other artists based in Cornwall, as well as Sir Ronald Gower, a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery.

In 1898, De Pass made his initial contribution of artworks to a public collection, marking the beginning of a remarkable journey of philanthropy and extensive art donations to various art galleries and museums across the UK. Regrettably, his contributions have largely remained unacknowledged. This presentation by local art historian Catherine Wallace sheds light on some of the notable paintings and drawings he generously bestowed upon art institutions between 1898 and 1939. These include galleries in Falmouth, Truro, Plymouth, and Bristol, as well as establishments like the National Gallery, the Tate, and the National Portrait Gallery in London. Artists include, Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt, Jan Brueghel the Elder, William Blake, John Constable, John Opie, Thomas Luny, D. G. Rossetti, E.C.Burne-Jones, J.W.Waterhouse, C.N. Hemy, Henry Scott Tuke, Dame Laura Knight, Alfred Munnings, Arthur Melville, John Singer Sargent and many more.

Catherine Wallace is a freelance art historian, writer and lecturer specialising in British and  European 19th and 20th century art with a focus on artists who were based in Cornwall, England. Wallace also has an in depth knowledge of commercial contemporary art and artists from Cornwall. Catherine Wallace has over 30 years experience as a curator and writer on art. This informs the lectures and guided tours she now offers online and live in Cornwall.

Art History Lecture: From Fertiliser to Fine Art: Alfred De Pass (1861 – 1952) Art Collector & Philanthropist 
Thursday 30th November 6:00pm

Tickets: £12

A £1 Poly Fund payment is added to each ticket sold

You may also be interested in the rest of our Art History Lecture Series given by Catherine Wallace: 

From Fertiliser to Fine Art: Alfred De Pass (1861 – 1952) Art Collector & Philanthropist Thursday 30th November 6.00pm

Rural Realism: The influence of Jules Bastien- Lepage on The Newlyn School and International Contemporaries Thursday 25th January 2024 6.00pm

Father and Daughter: Norman and Alethea Garstin - Two Impressionists in Cornwall Thursday 29th February 2024 6.00pm

Alfred Wallis (1855 – 1942) Naïve Painter and Modernist Inspiration Thursday 28th March 2024 6.00pm



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© The Poly - The Poly is the trading name of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society Limited, a company limited by guarantee and incorporated in England and Wales with company registration number 03909555 and registered charity number 1081199, with its registered office at 24 Church Street, Falmouth TR11 3EG