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Name:  Barber, Martha Constance Hattie
Brief biography:  Founder of The Barber Institute of Fine Arts.
Nationality:  British
Date of birth:  1869
Date of death:  1933

Martha Constance Hattie Barber (1869-1933) founded the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in 1932. Lady Barber was the wife of Sir William Henry Barber, Bt, (1860-1927), a wealthy property developer and solicitor in Birmingham. The couple married in 1893 and, in the same year, retired to Culham Court, an eighteenth-century manor house near Henley-on-Thames. There they enjoyed country pursuits while maintaining close ties with Sir Henry’s native city. In 1923, Sir Henry endowed a Chair of Law at the University of Birmingham and, one year later, he was appointed a Life Governor of the University. Though the Barbers made other benefactions to the city of Birmingham, the University was to be the principal recipient of their generosity. After her husband’s death, Lady Barber drew up a Trust Deed of Settlement which established the Barber Institute ‘for the study and encouragement of art and music’. She herself died a few months later but the Institute has become one of the finest small picture galleries in the world.

2 Related Objects

The peacock feather
Mancini, Antonio (1827-1901)
The rock garden at Culham Court / The pool in the rock garden at Culham Court
Cambier, Nestor (1879-1957)
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