Matisse, a spotted horse and two tigers hit Buxton

Buxton Museum received some interesting new acquisitions last week, courtesy of kind donors The Stubbs family. Two sisters from the family used to work for a man with the rather wonderful name of Arto Funduklian. The son of an Armenian émigré living in Manchester, Funduklian became the Advertising Manager for rug-manufacturing company A and M Karagheusian. He spent time in Paris in the 1920s where he collected contemporary artworks, mostly prints by young artists like Chagall and Chahine. Funduklian lived the later years of his life in Buxton, on St. John’s Road. By the time of his death, his collection included English works by John Piper and Wyndham Lewis. In 1980, the collection was bequeathed to Buxton Museum. His brother, Vahe Funduklian, stated that there was a sense that his collection would be lost in a big permanent collection like Manchester and that a smaller institution would derive more benefit from it.

Arto Funduklian

Arto Funduklian

Joining the thirty-three paintings already cared for by the museum are eighteen objects, including the man’s characteristic spectacles and personalised coathanger. There are also a few photographs and letters. More intriguing are several ornaments and boxes, including a spotted ceramic horse, a glass hare bottle-stopper, four wooden wise men from China, a Yardley box decorated with stone age cave art and a pair of ferocious-looking tigers. Not to mention two more artworks, an oil painting by James MacIntyre called Hyde Park in Winter and a lithograph by Henri Émile Benoît Matisse entitled Portrait of a Young Woman.

Photos by the blogger.

We are planning to exhibit Arto Funduklian’s collection next summer to give you the opportunity to see it and celebrate the man’s passion for collecting so watch this space.

If you’re hungry for more local history, Derbyshire Records Office has an excellent new blog that you can see here.

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