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date: 21 September 2019

James, Edward (Frank Willis)locked

  • Philip Core

Extract

(Frank Willis)

(b Chichester, Sussex, 16 Aug 1907; d Xilitla, Mexico, 2 Dec 1984). English patron and collector. He inherited his fortune from his mother and spent it on the arts. He remodelled and redecorated Monkton House (West Dean Estate, Chichester), built for his parents by Sir Edwin Lutyens, with a collection that included the sofa designed by Salvador Dalí, Mae West’s Lips, and The Metamorphosis of Narcissus; Magritte’s La Reproduction interdit (a portrait of James); Leonora Carrington’s Cock Crow; Delvaux’s Prostitutes; Bérard’s On the Beach; Pavel Tchelitchew’s Edith Sitwell; and many other works by Eugene Berman, Ernst, Tanguy, and other artists of the Surrealist and Neo-Romantic circle (see fig.). To occupy his wife, the dancer Tilly Losch, he commissioned Les Ballets 1933, produced in Paris and London; Die Sieben Todsünden by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill; Les Songes by Darius Milhaud, and others, with décors by Bérard, ...

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