Joseph Henry Fitzhenry
Joseph Henry Fitzhenry loaned and gave many objects to the Victoria and Albert Museum between 1870 and 1913. In 1910, to mark the opening of the new buildings designed by Aston Webb, he presented his collections of French porcelain and Dutch faience. Several other departments were also beneficiaries of his generosity.
Born in 1836, Joseph Henry Fitzhenry was a prodigious art collector and dealer. He was a friend of the art collectors Sir Richard Wallace, George Salting and J. Pierpont Morgan, to the latter of whom he provided advice on purchases. According to his obituarist, 'Nothing is certainly known about Mr. Fitzhenry’s origin or early life'. Fitzhenry was a founding member of the V&A’s Advisory Council, attending only one meeting before he died in London on 15 March 1913, aged 77. He was buried in Brompton cemetery.
MA/1/F677/1-22: Nominal file: J. H. Fitzhenry
MA/1/M2725/1: Nominal file: J. Pierpont Morgan
MA/31/3, 6, 9 & 10: Registers of loans in
MA/49/2/88: Press cuttings
MA/46/1/1: Advisory Council minutes
A0454: Correspondence with J. H. Fitzhenry (1906)
Other archival sources: Morgan Library and Museum, New York: Fitzhenry file
Selected printed works:
A series of twelve Delft plates illustrating the tobacco industry: presented by J.H. Fitzhenry, Esq. to the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Printed for HMSO, 1907). NAL pressmark: VA.1907.0005
Wylde, C. H. ‘Mr Fitzhenry’s collection of early French pate-tendre.’ The Burlington Magazine 28 (1905): 188-201. NAL pressmark: PP.1.A
[Obituary]. The Times (18 March 1913)
Baudis, Macushla. ‘Tea Parties at the Museum … The Collector J. H. Fitzhenry and his Relationship with the Victoria and Albert Museum.’ V&A Online Journal No. 2 (Autumn 2009)
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