Graphic art collections

Harriet Cohen Collection

Harriet Cohen CBE FRAM (1895–1967) studied at the Royal Academy of Music. Noted for her performances of Bach and modern English music, she was an advocate of the works of Arnold Bax and in 1933 also premièred Vaughan Williams' Piano Concerto, which was dedicated to her. She injured her right hand in 1948 and briefly played one-handed until her retirement in 1960. Her memoirs, 'A Bundle of Time', were published just prior to her death. Harriet Cohen bequeathed a large collection of paintings, some photographs and her gold bracelet to the Academy, with a request that the room in which the paintings were to be housed was named the ‘Arnold Bax Room’. The collection comprises works by British and French artists of the late-19th to mid-20th century and includes paintings by William Scott, Marc Chagall, Marie Laurencin, Edward Wolfe, Duncan Grant and Josef Hermann, among others.

Granville Collection

Bequeathed by the collector Philip Granville, the collection comprises 168 items of graphic art from twenty countries, representing the work of some of the world’s finest artists working in this medium. The mural-like series ‘War Orchestra’ (six sheets) by the Croatian artist Boris Bucan is perhaps the highlight of the collection, while work by the German artist Gerhard Voigt uses a repeated image of a music stand, expressing the use of music itself, here using the idea of rhythm as a design. Two large posters by the advertising company Bartle, Bogle, Hegarty (1992) graphically illustrate early images for the new Sony Walkman. Many were on display in an exhibition at the Royal College of Art in 1993.

Priscilla Naish Collection

This collection comprises 19 drawings of musicians drawn from life by the artist Juliet Pannett, along with two unused tickets for the opening concert of the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s South Bank. The sitters include Ralph Vaughan Williams, Clifford Curzon – two portraits, one where he is playing Mozart, and the other Rachmaninov – Jack Brymer, William Walton and Denis Matthews. Priscilla Naish studied at the Royal Academy of Music, and the collection was donated in late 2010.

Marjorie Waterman Collection

This collection of 54 engravings, lithographs and mezzotint portraits of musicians was presented by Mrs Beryl Clarke in 2007, and was supplemented by further items in 2009. Highlights include a portrait of the musician and inventor Charles Claggett, of composer and guitarist Francesco Corbetta, and a lithographic portrait of composer Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle along with verses from 'La Marseillaise', which he wrote in 1792.

Photo: portrait of the Distin Family. Undated lithograph from the Marjorie Waterman Collection