The Garman Ryan Collection



The Garman Ryan Collection was formed by two remarkable women and generously given to the Borough of Walsall in 1973. Kathleen Garman, born in Wednesbury, met the great twentieth century sculptor Jacob Epstein in 1921. She had three children by him and married him in 1955, after the death of his first wife. After Epstein’s own death in 1959, Kathleen created an art collection with her friend Sally Ryan, granddaughter of American tycoon Thomas Fortune Ryan and a talented sculptor in her own right. Together Kathleen and Sally formed a collection of works by some of the greatest European artists – Dürer, Rembrandt, Constable, Van Gogh, and Monet - as well as artefacts from many cultures across the world.

 The collection also serves as a memorial to the Epsteins' extraordinary circle of family and friends, including Augustus John, Matthew Smith, Modigliani and Gaudier-Brzeska. Above all, it provides important insights into Jacob Epstein's long and often controversial career. The thematic arrangement on which Kathleen insisted provides the opportunity to make unexpected links and comparisons across different centuries and cultures. Intimate, wide-ranging and adventurous, this is a collection that offers something for everyone to enjoy.