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Fantastic watercolour donations to Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum has received two new additions to its collection from a regional housebuilding company.

The two watercolours have a historic link to the site of the new housing development and offer a remarkable insight into Coventry’s industrial history.

Both paintings bring the city’s industrial heritage to life by depicting the Courtaulds factory and Coventry Brick Works in their former glory. These buildings are currently being restored and transformed into a collection of two, three, four and five-bedroom homes at Paragon Park, in Foleshill Road by Persimmon Homes Central.

Neil Williams, director-in-charge of Persimmon Homes Central, said: “It is important to us to support the communities in which we build, and it is an honour to be able to preserve a piece of Coventry’s history by buying these pictures and donating them to the museum for all to enjoy.”

Victor Hammond is believed to have been a designer or graphic artist in the Coventry car industry from the 1930s through to the 1960s.

Art dealer Jenny Tudor, of Jenny Tudor Pictures, found a collection of works by Hammond at a Cotswold auction, including illustrations of cars. She said: “For me, the two stand-out pieces, both dated 1937, were a depiction of men working in the riverside yard.

“There is so much period detail in them that I felt they were of social history importance as part of Coventry's industrial past and should be conserved.  I am so pleased that Persimmon Homes has generously decided to buy them to present to the museum. Little is known about Victor Hammond and I hope local people will be able to provide a little more information about this very talented artist.”

Cultural and Creative Director, Francis Ranford, said: “The paintings generously gifted by Persimmon Homes will enrich our collection of visual arts by Coventry artists and enable us to share with visitor’s further insight into the cities industrial heritage. We are extremely grateful.”