Edinburgh psychiatry professor leaves large art collection to Scottish National Gallery

AN ART-LOVING psychiatry professor has left the bulk of his £5.2 million fortune to galleries across the Capital.

World-renowned psychiatrist Professor Henry Walton, who died in July aged 88, has bequeathed much of his extensive £1.8m art collection – which boasted a £200,000 Picasso and works by Paul Cézanne, George Braque, and David Hockney – to the Scottish National Gallery.

The Scottish National Museum of Modern Art will gain from a trust to buy other pieces according to the academic’s will. And, though it will benefit art-lovers for generations to come, Professor Walton, right, only asked that the first purchase bought with it was acknowledged as having been bought by himself and his wife.

His wife, the renowned child psychiatrist Sula Walton, died aged 85 in September 2009. The pair – who lived in Marchmont – used their academic salaries to fund their love of art.

The will also reveals how the Royal Museum of Scotland will be allowed to choose items of the Walton’s African or Oriental art works, pictured left, to hold on display. Any art works in the collection that were made before 1900 have been gifted to the National 


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A spokesperson from the National Galleries of Scotland said they were “delighted” to receive this “major gift”. The spokesman said: “Following Henry Walton’s death in July, the collection – which includes outstanding prints by artists such as Rembrandt, Goya, Cézanne, Picasso and Howard Hodgkin, and paintings by Joan Eardley, Leslie Hunter and Anne Redpath – was bequeathed to the National Galleries of Scotland.

“The Galleries will also be the beneficiaries of the Henry and Sula Walton Fund.

“The intention of the fund is to benefit the arts, through the purchase and display of works of art for the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.”

Picasso work among those in Walton’s collection


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THE final details of which pieces galleries will receive are yet to be released, but parts of their impressive collection, exhibited before and bound to be on any curator’s wish list, include the Pablo Picasso line cut Toros en Vallauris 1955. The piece Grey Horse Head by Elisabeth Frink has also been shown by the couple before. Frink, a major British painter and sculptor, would use the forms of men and birds to convey complex and violent emotions. The Waltons sourced art from across the globe and had an extensive collection of Oriental and African art, of which the African Kota figure is a good example.