The Victor Batte-Lay Collection is a fascinating collection of paintings, engravings and sculptures by artists of national and international renown such as John Constable, Camille Pissarro, Eduardo Paolozzi, John and Paul Nash and Maggi Hambling among others. It was started by an avid art collector Victor Batte-Lay, a hereditary Freeman whose ancestors can be traced back to the days of the bay trade. His widow donated the collection at her death in 1955, a trust was then founded and a venue acquired. This venue was the Minories, a listed Georgian building in the centre of historical Colchester. The Minories was opened as a gallery in 1958 by the then Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Sir T. C. Cox and Mr R. A. Butler, the then Secretary of State. The collection has now expanded and includes works by modern artists such as William Ratcliffe and Humphrey Spender. It gives an insight into East Anglian culture and provides inspiration for future generations. Some of these works are occasionally on display locally and further afield and a detailed researched catalogue can be accessed through its website.
Not all locations are open to the public. Please contact the gallery or collection for more information.