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ID number:  BIRRC-A0004
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Campus Collection of Fine and Decorative Art
Artist / Maker:  Spear, Ruskin (1911-1990)
Title / Object name:  Portrait of Sir Robert Aitken
Object type:  Painting
Place made:  London
Culture:  British School
Date made:  1968
Materials:  Oil on canvas
Measurements:  109.2 x 83.8 cm

Man sitting facing the right side of the frame with his hands on his lap holding glasses. He is wearing red robes with a gold trim over a dark coloured suit and tie with a white shirt. Beige/brown background.

Half length portrait of the sitter wearing Vice-Chancellor's robes. Robert Stevenson Aitken was Vice-Chancellor of Birmingham University from 1953 until 1968. He came to Birmingham from the University of Otago in New Zealand following a period as a Rhodes scholar in a London hospital. Aitken was a distinguished physician, specialising in respiratory physiology. He was an enthusiastic patron of the arts and had an instrumental role in the building of the new Birmingham Repertory Theatre. There is a photograph of Aitken in the National Portrait Gallery, taken by Walter Bird in 1963.

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