- 1st − 31st January 2012 | Scottish National Gallery
Born 7 April 1809 in Southwark in South London, Henry Vaughan came from a Quaker family. Although he later moved away from the area, Vaughan retained his links with Southwark and in 1857 he paid for the building of alms houses there. He sustained this interest in philanthropy throughout his life.
One of the most discerning and public-spirited Victorian collectors, Vaughan was a private and cultivated man, able to pursue his passions at a time when prices for paintings and drawings were gradually increasing. He brought to his collecting a seriousness and rigour through its focus on Turner and Constable, whose works had often divided critics.
Vaughan also clearly endorsed John Ruskin’s belief that carefully selected works of art could inspire a growing gallery-going public and displayed remarkable generosity by donating his collection to museums and galleries across Britain and Ireland.