Henry and Joyce Collins
(Henry Collins, British, 1912 – 1994)
The Post Office Tower, 1981
Inscribed, signed and dated ‘The Post Office Tower Henry & Joyce Collins 1981’ (lower right)
Oil on canvas laid down on panel
47.5/8 x 24 in. (121 x 61 cm.)
Henry Collins (1910-1994) and his wife Joyce Millicent Pallot (1912-2004) met at the Colchester Art School in 1932. They married in 1938 and began working on public art commissions together in 1948. They completed over 60 projects in a pioneering partnership that lasted over 62 years. They are perhaps best known for their work on large-scale concrete murals during the 1970s many of which remain on show today across the UK. They were founding members of the Colchester Art Society in 1946 along with John Nash and Cedric Morris. They lived and worked in Colchester for most of their lives. Henry taught at St. Martins School of Art and Colchester School of Art and Joyce at Colchester and Southend Art Schools. Their first prominent commission was for The Central Office of Information for the Sea and Ships Pavilion as part of the Festival of Britain in 1951. Following this they exhibited internationally developing designs in Formica for the Brussels Exhibition (1957-8), Jamestown Festival, USA and Expo 1970 in Osaka, Japan. They enjoyed great success in commercial design, working for Max Factor, KLM, Kodak and the GPO.