I was lucky enough to stroll into the Museum of English Naive Art in Bath soon after Andras Kalman opened it to the public. I was so overwhelmed by the character and unique quality of his historic collection of paintings, artefacts and objects, that I immediately thought how much I would love to become involved in some practical way and to work there. My thoughts became reality, and so in addition to teaching part time in the art department at All Hallows School, I was able to devote my spare time working on the reception desk, welcoming people in and giving out information.
Shortly afterwards Andras decided to offer me a full time post as curator which I was delighted to accept. To be in a gallery surrounded by the most delightful paintings and artefacts was a dream come true. I had a wonderful team helping me and we ran adult and children’s workshops, concerts and talks relating to the collection.
Andras often came down to Bath to follow up his strong passion for the collection. He loved to talk to visitors, to witness the organised programmes and events, and in particular he became very interested and involved in the children’s workshops which interacted with the collection.
Sadly he had to sell the collection in the late 90’s and I was very concerned that it might be split up, or indeed sent to America to be lost forever. Fortunately and with generous foresight Peter Moores decided to acquire the complete collection with the idea of it becoming part of his art collection in Compton Verney, and so it became The British Folk Art Collection.
We were all delighted that it had been rescued, and though a sad loss for the Countess of Huntingdons Schoolhouse in Bath,I was glad to be involved in working with a close friend and colleague, Kathleen Sinclair, in setting up the whole collection afresh at Compton Verney.
Author on Folk Art & Former Director of Judkyn Memorial at Freshford Manor, near Bath
Dealer & Collector
Kate Arnold Foster
Director, Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading
Artist and Curator
Andras Kalman's daughter
Curator of The Museum of English Naive Art 1988-1998
Writer, artist and publisher of decorative papers
Curator of of What the Folk Say at Compton Verney in 2011
Folk Art Specialist