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The Art

Search for information about all the works of art and craft we have donated to museums

Sir Sir Colin Skelton Anderson (1904 - 1980)


Sir Colin Skelton Anderson (1904 -1980) was the elder son of Sir Alan Garrett Anderson (1877-1952) of Notgrove Manor, Gloucestershire, UK and his wife Muriel Ivy, daughter of George William Duncan of Richmond, Surrey, born 15 July 1904. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Oxford (Hon. Fellow, 1963); hon. LLD (Aberdeen, 1963). He became Chairman of Anderson Green & Co. Ltd. and Grey, Dawes, Westray & Co. Ltd; Director of P&O Steam Navigation Co.; Midland Bank Ltd; Orient Steam Navigation Co.; Marine Insurance Co. Ltd, Australia and New Zealand Bank Ltd and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden Ltd; President of UK Chamber of Shipping, 1949-50 and Chairman of General Council of British Shipping, 1949-50; President of International Chamber of Shipping, 1949-63, British Employers' Confederation, 1956-58 (Vice-President, 1952-56); Chairman of National Association of Port Employers, 1947-48 and 1950-54.

He was also Chairman of Trustees of Tate Gallery (1960-67) and of the Royal Fine Art Commission; member of Council of Royal College of Art (Chairman, 1952-56 and later Provost); Prime Warden of Worshipful Co. of Fishmongers, 1963-64.  He was fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, 1953; Hon. FRIBA, 1957. He was an Executive Committee Member of the Contemporary Art Society (1945-65), and its designated Buyer in 1946; its Honorary Treasurer, 1950s and Chairman from 1962. He purchased over 40 works of art for the Contemporary Art Society, notably Francis Bacon’s Figure Study II (1945-6) which was the first work by the artist to enter a UK public collection and was presented to what is now Huddersfield Art Gallery in 1952.  Anderson was knighted in 1950 and appointed KBE in 1969 and Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau, 1948 (Holland).

Anderson married Australian-born Morna Campbell MacCormick (1906-1982), daughter of Sir Alexander Campbell MacCormick KCMG MD of Kilmory Point, Piper, Sydney, Australia on 31 March 1932, and they had 3 children, one of whom died in infancy. As collectors, Sir Colin and Lady Anderson assembled a fine collection of Art Nouveau works of art, which was bequeathed to the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, now a CAS member museum. Among contemporary artists, they owned works by Lucien Freud, drawings and watercolours by Edward Ardizzone, Robert Colquhoun, John Craxton, David Jones, Henry Moore, Ceri Richards and Graham Sutherland. They gifted 20 works to the Contemporary Art Society which were donated to museums throughout the UK and abroad.

Artworks donated and purchased by Sir Colin Skelton Anderson