This exhibition celebrates Arthur Jeffress' complex and colourful life as a gay man and art collector.
The collector Arthur Jeffress lived just outside Winchester in the mid-1930s with John Deakin, later Francis Bacon’s favourite photographer. After the Second World War, Loraine Conran, curator of Southampton Art Gallery, arranged to borrow a large part of Jeffress’ collection, including works by Picasso and de Chirico. Jeffress also lent a work by Jackson Pollock, the first ever shown in Britain.
Jeffress moved back to London, opened a gallery and bought a house in Venice. On his suicide in 1961 he bequeathed his collection to Southampton and Tate. Gill Hedley, who worked at Southampton City Art Gallery in the 1980s, has been working on Jeffress’ biography ever since. Love, Art will be published by Bloomsbury in spring 2020.
The exhibition includes loans from archives, Tate and private collections.