The Milntown Trust’s collection of oil paintings is from the estate of the last owner of Milntown, Sir Clive Edwards. Upon his death, in 1999, Sir Clive left the historic Milntown Estate in trust, to be used for the benefit of the people of the Isle of Man. The paintings that we have form part of this generous legacy, and the collection had been built up over a period of at least 75 years by both Sir Clive and his parents before him.
The collection comprises an eclectic mix of artists and styles, with paintings being acquired because they appealed to the family, rather than as a representation of any particular style or artist.
The more notable paintings include Near La Belle Alliance at Dawn, June 18 1815 by E. Crofts, A River with Figures in a Punt by Benjamin Williams Leader, a 28in x 40in canvas showing Haymakers Taking a Rest signed by Rex Vicat Cole and a Farmyard Scene with various birds signed with the initials of James Bogdani.
Two of the works in the collection are of a more personal nature, depicting Sir Clive’s ancestors. These are individual portraits of his paternal grandparents, painted at a time when his grandfather, William Henry Edwards, was mayor of Swansea between 1894 and 1895. The Edwards family were originally from South Wales and derived their wealth and position from the ownership of a large steelworks.
Although this is really a private collection much of it is seen by visitors to Milntown House and the Trust is very pleased that the paintings have been included by the Public Catalogue Foundation in its project to bring such works of art to a wider audience.