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New York, Paris, Glasgow … art collector gifts major works to new Scottish home

Phillip A Bruno befriended some of the biggest names in art such as the family of Vincent Van Gogh.

A US art collector has gifted more than 70 works to one of Glasgow's leading galleries.

Phillip A Bruno worked as the director of several New York art galleries for nearly 60 years.

In an illustrious career, he advised important collectors and museum directors and befriended some of the greatest art figures of the age.

 Phillip A Bruno. Drawing by Nancy Lawton, 1992
Phillip A Bruno. Drawing by Nancy Lawton, 1992

In 2002, he married the former Herald and Financial Times arts writer Clare Henry.

The couple now live in the West End of Glasgow.

An exhibition celebrating the collection of contemporary art will open at the Hunterian Art Gallery next month.

A Gift to Glasgow from New York: The Phillip A. Bruno Collection coincides with Bruno’s 90th birthday.

Hunterian Director Steph Scholten said: “Phillip A. Bruno played a pivotal role in the New York art world for 60 years 1950-2010, working with some of the most important artists, collectors and museum directors of the period.

 The Hunterian Art Gallery in Hillhead Street. Photo: Google
The Hunterian Art Gallery in Hillhead Street. Photo: Google

"The collection provides a snapshot of the American scene in the crucial post-war period and it brings us many fine works of art, including sculptures, paintings and drawings, which we could not normally have hoped to acquire.”

A Gift to Glasgow from New York totals over 70 works, featuring American artists such as William Dole, Lee Gatch, Red Grooms, David Levine, Leroy Lamis, Robert Andrew Parker and Tom Otterness, as well as international figures such as the Mexican painter José Luis Cuevas and the Japanese sculptor Masayuki Nagare.

Bruno spent the majority of his career as co-director of the Staempfli Gallery, and later Marlborough Gallery, both important venues for contemporary art.

 Gift: Masayuki Nagare, Nagare Bachi, 1974. © Nagare Foundation, Takamatsu City.
Gift: Masayuki Nagare, Nagare Bachi, 1974. © Nagare Foundation, Takamatsu City.

 Gift: Leroy Lamis, Construction 108, c.1965, coloured Perspex © Leroy Lamis/VAGA at ARS, NY and DACS, London 2019.
Gift: Leroy Lamis, Construction 108, c.1965, coloured Perspex © Leroy Lamis/VAGA at ARS, NY and DACS, London 2019.

He was born in Paris and studied art history and architecture at Columbia.

The exhibition presents a selection of paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints, formed in New York.

His career took off quickly with visits to see Matisse, Brancusi and Giacometti in Paris, and a stay with the Van Gogh family in Holland.

This is the first part of the Bruno collection to go on display at The Hunterian. A second selection will be on show in early 2020.

 Phillip Bruno in 1955, outside the Loeb Gallery, Paris
Phillip Bruno in 1955, outside the Loeb Gallery, Paris

 Now residing in Glasgow, Phillip A Bruno celebrates his 90th birthday this year
Now residing in Glasgow, Phillip A Bruno celebrates his 90th birthday this year

Phillip A. Bruno said: "I am so looking forward to seeing my gifts on a Scottish wall."

* A Gift to Glasgow from New York: The Phillip A. Bruno Collection, October 18, 2019 – January 12, 2020, Hunterian Art Gallery. Admission free.

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