The extraordinary Mr De Pass

26 Apr 2014 - 21 Jun 2014

In the present day it would be unimaginable to most people to consider a career change to ‘a connoisseur and art collector'. However, in 1881 this is exactly decision made by Alfred Aaron de Pass (1861-1952), a South African businessman who took his fortune from the family guano business and used it to become an ‘art benefactor extraordinary'.

De Pass became a discerning art collector who gave generously to museums and galleries at Falmouth, Bristol, Cambridge, Plymouth and Truro, as well as to the National Portrait Gallery, the British Museum and to Cape Town.

Falmouth held a special place in his heart and he regarded the town as his home. He first visited on his honeymoon in 1888 and returned in 1895 when he bought land close to the Falmouth Hotel and built Cliffe House. He was also a lifelong friend and patron of Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929).

This display features just some of the highlights from the extraordinary gifts he gave to Falmouth, including rarely exhibited maritime prints purchased from an exhibition held at Falmouth Free Library in 1938.


Arnesby Brown A Summer Day

John William Waterhouse RA The Lady of Shalott