Newsletter 2019

Four years ago we launched to showcase our private collection of British photographs and to use the collection as an educational resource. Since then we have continued to develop the collection and the range of our activities. These include donations to public institutions, museum loans, new commissions and acquisitions.

In 2019 the Hyman Collection donated 100 photographs to The Bodleian Library (Oxford, UK). The gift includes works by Shirley Baker, Cecil Beaton, John Blakemore, Tom Blau, Jane Bown, Bill Brandt, Mark Gerson, Fay Godwin, Bert Hardy, Paul Hill, Kurt Hutton, Colin Jones, Dafydd Jones, Gemma Levine, Neil Libbert, Jo Spence, Wolfgang Suschitzky and Homer Sykes.

This gift is the second major donation by the Hyman Collection. It follows the gift of 125 photographs to The Yale Center for British Art (New Haven, USA) in 2017. 

In the past year we have purchased works by Heather Agyepong, Dorothy Bohm, Bill Brandt, Victor Burgin, Angus Fairhurst, Hamish Fulton, Bert Hardy, Alex Hartley, Paul Hill, Emil Otto Hoppé, David Hurn, Kurt Hutton, Dafydd Jones, Marketa Luskacova, Jim Mortram, Tony Ray-Jones, Helen Sear and Jo Spence. 

We are delighted to have been involved in two projects that address mental and physical health. 

The Hyman Collection is excited to have commissioned Heather Agyepong to produce a major new body of work. This new photographic series, entitled Wish You Were Here, will be unveiled in 2020. In it Agyepong uses historical references to explore the concepts of ownership, entitlement and mental well-being and presents a dialogue between the past and the present.

We are also pleased to have co-curated with Jim Mortram a special limited edition boxed set of works from his devastatingly powerful series of photographs and testimony, Small Town Inertia. This essential work is one of the most important documentary projects of our age and deserves as wide an audience as possible.

The Hepworth Wakefield (Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017) curated an exhibition of works from the collection, entitled Modern Nature. This opened in July 2018 and was extended until April 2019. In April 2019 there was also a major two day conference on the themes of the exhibition.

Other loans included Anya Gallaccio major installation, Red on Green (ten thousand fragrant English tea roses on a bed of their stalks) (1992) to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (1 June - 22 September 2019).

We are committed to making the collection publicly accessible and to developing its educational role. As part of this, we are increasing our freely available online content by adding more works to the website and providing more detailed cataloguing. We are also including a growing number of essays on bodies of work and on individual pictures. 


The Hyman Collection began in 1996 and consists of artworks in all media. Over the last fifteen years The Hyman Collection has focused on international photography from its earliest days to the present.

The Hyman Collection seeks to support and promote British photography through philanthropy, commissions, education, acquisitions and loans. In 2015 it launched to provide online access to British photographs from the collection and to use this part of the collection as an educational resource to increase international awareness of British photography. As well as including forms of documentary photography, the collection focuses on artists working in photography who have pursued more subjective or conceptual strategies. The collection has historic as well as contemporary photographs and includes an equal number of works by male and female artists.

In 2017 the Hyman Collection gifted 125 photographs to The Yale Center for British Art (New Haven, USA) and in 2019 donated 100 photographs to The Bodleian Library (Oxford, UK). 


Claire and James Hyman

December 24, 2019
of 117