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Paul Williamson

(b New York, 1876; d London, Nov 25, 1955).

American collector and art historian. He was a man of private means who travelled widely before settling in London in 1912. Initially trained as a scientist, he turned to the arts and from the beginning of the 20th century was an avid collector with wide-ranging interests and was one of the greatest benefactors of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, especially in the fields of sculpture and metalwork. Perhaps his most significant and conspicuous gift to the museum was his entire collection of over 260 English medieval alabaster carvings, which he donated on his 70th birthday in 1946. Hildburgh’s collections formed the starting-point for his numerous publications and for his many lectures presented to the Society of Antiquaries of London, of which he became a Fellow in 1915. He added greatly to the research of St John Hope and Philip Nelson on English alabasters, publishing his findings almost every year from ...