Oliver Brown

Illustration © The Estate of John David Roberts. Reproduced with the permission of the William Roberts Society. Catalogue information based on the catalogue raisonné by David Cleall. For this and full details of the exhibitions cited, see the links below. Any auction prices quoted may not include all fees and taxes, such as VAT and Artist's Resale Right charges.
Photograph by courtesy of Peter Nahum at The Leicester Galleries.

Oliver Brown

Oliver Brown, 1924 (signed and dated)
Pencil, 42.5 cm x 26 cm

Oliver Frank Gustave Brown (1885–1966) was the only son and elder child of the art dealer Ernest George Brown (d. 1915), who in 1903 joined Wilfred and Cecil Phillips to run their recently opened Leicester Galleries, in Leicester Square, London. Oliver Brown joined the new firm of Ernest Brown and Phillips in the autumn of that year, and spent most of the rest of his life there. During the First World War (in which deafness prevented his enlistment) the gallery supported young artists including Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Jacob Epstein, C. R. W. Nevinson, Paul Nash and Eric Kennington. Between the wars Brown and Cecil Phillips mounted a series of important shows by foreign artists including Cézanne, Chagall, Degas, Gauguin, Matisse (his first one-man show in England, in 1919), Picasso, Camille Pissarro, Renoir and Van Gogh. Roberts seems to have first exhibited there in a group show in 1922; he later had one-man exhibitions there in 1945, 1949 and 1958, as well as appearing in various group shows until 1964. He described his relationship with the gallery in his essay 'Dealers and Galleries'.
PROVENANCE: Oliver Brown > private collection, Sussex, by descent (2005)

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