James Hyman adds a £38,400 piece of art history to his contemporary collection
ART HISTORIAN and gallerist James Hyman has bought a complete Michael Andrews mural from the famous London drinking den the Colony Room for £38,400 — a bargain, in his eyes. The Colony Room in Soho, a favourite of some of the world’s most famous artists such as Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and Damien Hirst, is facing closure. So, for Dr Hyman, this was an opportunity not to pass up.
He tells People: “The Colony Room was a key part of London’s cultural history and I think it was important to purchase the piece from a historical point of view — especially if the club is closing.”
Dr Hyman, 41, runs the James Hyman Gallery in Central London, which specialises in modern and contemporary art. He recently exhibited a display of photographs taken by Linda McCartney. He says: “I am not sure what will happen to the Colony Room, but it was important to save it and get it into a museum collection. I’m surprised the Tate or Museum of London didn’t go for it, especially as the price wasn’t stratospheric; the mural is easily worth between £150,000 and £200,000.”
Dr Hyman has worked internationally as a writer, lecturer, broadcaster, curator and art dealer. His prize-nominated book The Battle for Realism: Figurative Art in Britain during the Cold War 1945-60, was published in 2001. He received his PhD from the Courtauld and writes regularly for art journals and exhibition catalogues.
A father-of-three, he lives in Hampstead Garden Suburb, North London, and attends Norrice Lea Synagogue.