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Friday, 2 March, 2001, 12:14 GMT
Artist's £1m works left to the nation
A major collection of paintings by visionary British artist Cecil Collins, valued at £1m, has been given to the nation.
The 250 works, including the entire contents of his studio at the time of his death, will go to museums and galleries around the UK.
Collins, who was born in 1908 and died in 1989, was an individualist who favoured symbolic and mystical subjects.
His works were passed on to the National Art Collections Fund after the death of his wife, Elisabeth, last year.
The fund is a charity which helps museums and galleries buy artworks to add to their collections.
Several of Collins' works are expected to end up in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery, the Tate and the V & A.
Collins, who was made an MBE in 1979, lived in a small flat in London's Chelsea and supported himself by teaching at the Central School of Art and at Dartington College.
His wife Elisabeth was also a gifted artist but mostly dedicated her life to supporting her husband.
His works were recognised at a retrospective of his prints the Tate Gallery in 1981, and at one of his paintings and drawings in 1989, just three weeks before he died.
Collins was an eccentric in his personal life with an idiosyncratic teaching style.
During his 58-year marriage his wife was the model for most of his female images.
The bequest is likely to revive further interest in Collins' work.
"After his death Collins has become very fashionable," said a spokesman for the National Arts Collections Fund.
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