I have accumulated quite a few images of the various catalogues produced for exhibitions held by Tomas Harris around the world, not only for exhibitions showing his fine collections of Art by famous artists but also for exhibitions displaying art actually created by Tomas himself.

To View the whole Tomas Harris Exhibition Catalogue Gallery <— click link

Tomas Harris Ltd,  29 Bruton Street

      2009 August - Tomas Harris - Andratx segons Harris - Mallorca page1

 

Other galleries about Tomas Harris on this website can be viewed by clicking any of the thumbnails below

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Post originally published 27th November 2009 – Updated 2/2/2010 – changes in green

LIONEL HARRIS (1862-1943) – ENRIQUETA RODRIGUEZ LEON (1873-1933) AND FAMILY LIONEL HARRIS  (1862 0R 1863-1943) AND HIS FAMILY

Lionel’s father was called William Harris. He was born in 1828, apparently in Germany, and died on the 3rd April 1907. William was soon living with other Harrises in London however, and he married Eve Barnett on the 21st November 1860 at the New Synagogue, Great St Helens, according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the German and Polish Jews.[1] Eve had been born in January 1841 and was the daughter of Abraham Barnett, Reader at the Synagogue at the time and later Minister.[2]

The Harrises in question are usually thought to have been of Russian or Polish origin: a family of the Jewish faith which settled in the East End of London and the City in the early years of the 19th century.[3] William’s father seems to have been called Levy, and there was no lack of Harrises and Barnetts living in Great Prescott Street in the 19th century. Lionel was born in that street, where William and Eve were living (at Nº 14) when the 1861 census was taken. William at that time was a general merchant, according to his marriage certificate.

William and Eve had a typically large 19th-century family. Lionel was the eldest son, according to the 1871 census, born in 1862. He was followed by Ernest, Eltaet? (a daughter), Morris, Violet, Stella and Norah according to the 1871 census, when the family had moved up in the world and were living at 43, Woburn Place with four servants. William was now a Diamond Merchant. There was at least one other daughter later, called Gertrude, whom Lionel mentioned in his will and who presumably died after him.[4]

Lionel’s life and career are not too difficult to document. In 1898, at the age of 35, he married Enriqueta Rodríguez y León (born Seville 7th June 1873 and died 3rd November 1933 in London), whose father was Tomás Rodríguez de García, and whose mother was Concepción León y Gallardo from Seville. Lionel and Enriqueta were betrothed in 1895, and married in the Registry Office of the British Consulate in Madrid on the 21st February 1898. The marriage was solemnized in the Synagogue at Bayonne by the Chief Rabbi of that city on the 30th March the same year. The Rodríguez family had some bull-fighting antecedents but Lionel’s in-laws made their living selling antiques in Madrid in the 1890s. At the time of his marriage Lionel was also already established in the antiques trade. [5]

Lionel had earlier, in the 1880s presumably, joined his father in South America to work in the textile business. It was William, apparently, who suggested that his son should move to Spain, and he can first be located in the Spanish capital in 1891.[6]     when he was trading as a diamond merchant (like his father), together with Alfred Lindenbaum in Madrid and London. In 1892 his letterhead gives his business addresses in both Madrid and London, but he was no longer in diamonds, and was dealing instead in antiques,    art and jewellery. L. Harris & Co. was at Fuencarral, 24, Pr[incip]al D[e]r[ech]a in Madrid and 35 Hatton Gardens in London in the year in question. By 1896 his Madrid address had changed to Caballero de Gracia, 22, principal, and he had separate addresses for Antiques and Jewellery in London, at 127 Regent Street (with the telegraphic address BARMASTER),[7] and at 23 Hatton Gardens (telegraphic address BRAWRONIA) respectively. In March 1898 his Madrid address was Carmen, 4, 1º izq[uier]da, and his London addresses remained unchanged.[8] Since a diamond merchant called William Harris is listed in Hatton Gardens in the Post Office Directories of the period, it is not impossible that this was Lionel’s father’s business address.

In Lionel’s early business activity in Madrid and London, it is evident that he needed the support of partners, and often changed them. He dissolved the partnership with Lindenbaum in 1891 and we have yet to discover when it had started. Subsequently he went into partnership with Solomon Joseph as Dealers in Works of Art and Antiquities at 127 Regent Street, trading as Harris & Co., and this arrangement was dissolved in 1898. Later, in 1905, a certain solicitor called George Solomon Joseph (very possibly Lionel’s former partner) is mentioned in The Times in a case where Lionel Harris himself was also involved, as executor of the estate of Louis Jephson of Brighton, whose will had been challenged.  It seems that Solomon Joseph was a cousin of the deceased Jephson and that Lionel was a relation too .[10] 

Despite the need for the backing of others, the ability of Lionel to build up his stock, extracting    silver articles and other valuables from ecclesiastical and monastic sources in Spain in the 1890s can be gauged from the 18 items he exhibited in a Spanish Art Exhibition held at the New Gallery in London in 1896, which also included 16th– and 17th-century embroideries and jewellery, rugs, and vases from his stock. But he moved his main company base to London around 1900, although he continued to travel regularly in Spain to acquire art and antiques for the next few decades.  His family also flourished.  Lionel and Enriqueta’s first child, Violeta,  was born in London in November or December 1898 and Maurice, their second child, was born in London in 1900. The family were living with four servants at 21 Lymington Road, Hampstead when the 1901 Census was taken,[9] and in that year Lionel’s business address was 44 Conduit Street, off Bond Street in London. The following year he was listed at 32 St James’ Street SW, in the Post Office directory of the period, and  by 1909 his company was also to be found at 50 Conduit Street. , in 1907 he opened The Spanish Gallery at 50 Conduit Street with an exhibition of works by the Catalan artist Josep Cusachs. The Spanish Ambassador attended the opening, since the embassy had commissioned an equestrian portrait of the young king Alfonso XIII, in military uniform, by Cusachs, which was on display. Presumably Lionel thought that the time was ripe to capitalise on his Spanish connections, since the good relations between Spain and Britain had been cemented by the marriage of King Alfonso in May 1906 to a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Ena of Battenberg [9b]

By 1911 five more children had been born to Lionel and his wife: three sons –William in 1902; Lionel Junior in 1903; Tomás Joseph in 1909 1908 ; and two daughters, Conchita in 1904; and Enriqueta Eva in 1910. The 1911 census shows that there were now six servants to support the growing family.[10]

Lionel’s art and antiques trading prospered. He was selling early 16th-century alabaster effigies, a large collection of ironwork, a Gothic figure, and Hispano-Moresque vases to the recently founded Hispanic Society of America in New York in the course of 1906, having offered a Spanish Apocalypse to them unsuccessfully in August 1901, and other purchases from Lionel were made by the same Society in the years up to and including 1914. The Victoria and Albert Museum purchased late 15th-century sepulchral sculptures from his firm in 1910 and he sold rare textiles and carpets and other works to them between that date and 1920.[11] In the years before World War I, Lionel’s dealing in early Spanish paintings and El Greco also took off.  The Mass of St Gregory from the School of Fernando Gallego, was bought from Lionel for the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge in 1910 and an anonymous St Michael of the Valencian School was acquired by the National Gallery of Scotland from him the same year.[12] The premises The Spanish Art Gallery at 50 Conduit Street became The Spanish Art Gallery at this period, admired by such art luminaries as Roger Fry, who wrote a strong appraisal of the originality of El Greco’s art for the Burlington Magazine in 1913, basing his opinions largely on four paintings by the master which Lionel then had on show.

By the 1920s, Lionel’s sons were old enough to help their father with his business. Maurice Harris joined his father as a Director before 1921, probably at both the Spanish Art Gallery and 44 Conduit Street, known as the Kent Gallery Ltd. and so did Lionel Junior (the third of the four sons, born in 1903).[13] The second son William may also have worked with his father too, but seems not to have become a director, and at some stage moved to Caernafon in Wales to run an antiques business of his own.[14]

It was in the late 1920s that Lionel’s youngest son, Tomás, decided to follow his father into art dealing, and he had galleries of his own first in Sackville Street and then at 29 Bruton Street before joining Lionel at the Spanish Art Gallery which he later moved to Garden Lodge, Logan Place, Kensington, W8.[15] Tomás had won a scholarship at the Slade School of Art when he was only fifteen and was trained as an artist there from 1923 to 1926, spending a year subsequently at the British Academy in Rome. Although he had a prodigious talent and continued to paint and exhibit his work throughout his life, the family’s dealing in works of art stimulated his interest in collecting too. He began by seeking out prints and drawings by the two Tiepolos, Dürer and Rembrandt, and then turned his attention to Goya., building up an unrivalled collection of the various editions of the Spanish artist’s major series of prints and lithographs, and studying rare states of the etchings. In his will, Lionel made it plain that Tomás was uniquely suited to run the gallery,[16] and the exceptional quality of the two exhibitions he organised in the 1930s, with major works by Velázquez, Ribera, Zurbarán and Goya and little known works from private collections, showed that he had the ability to develop the business further.[17]Lionel’s own quality and reputation as a dealer was obvious in the 1930s. In an interview with him published in The Evening Standard in July 1938 he was compared to Duveen, although in reality in the field of Spanish art he seems to have outdone all his international rivals, since there is clear evidence that he had handled more important works by Spanish artists than any other dealer in the catalogue of Spanish Paintings outside Spain published by Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño in Madrid in 1958.  Yet although Tomás and Maurice were actively trying to sell work from their father’s stock to major museums in the post-war period, it has been said that Tomás was ‘evidently trying to wind up his business’ then.[18] And it may be that the stimulus to create, fostered by his house in Majorca, and his Goya collecting and the preparation of his Goya print catalogue left little time for dealing and selling.

[Tomás’s Goya print collection, part of it now available for study in the British Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings thanks to the generosity of his widow and his sisters, although the gift was also in lieu of estate duties,[19] and his two volume Goya Prints and Lithographs (Oxford, Bruno Cassirer, 1964) have made a major contribution to the understanding of Goya’s etching and lithographic techniques, and have greatly increased the general appreciation of that part of the Spanish artist’s work. But historians may well be hard pressed to weigh the significance of his work as artist, collector and scholar, against the importance of his work for MI 5 during World War II, since he was the individual responsible for much of the planning and control of the Double Agent known as Garbo, and invented himself many of the spurious reports sent to this agent (and thence to the German High Command) from Garbo’s imaginary network of spies, creating an ingenious web of deceptions, that succeeded in keeping the Germans in the dark about the intended D-Day landings. Tomás wrote his own account of his role as Garbo’s full-time case officer in a series of World War II double bluffs, now in the National Archives at Kew, available in print with the title Garbo, the spy who saved D-day (London, Public Record Office, 2000).[20]

 


[1]Marriage Certificate from the Registration District of the City of London. Certified copy obtained on the 28th October 2002. The fact that William was born in Germany is mentioned in the 1871 census in an entry identified by Morlin.

[2]Birth Certificate from the Registration District of East London and the sub-district of St Botolph. Certified copy obtained 29th October 2002.

 

[3]See Jeffrey Maynard, The History of the Bloom and Harris families (1989). Copy in the Local History Library in Bancroft Road, London E 1.

[4]Copy of the will supplied by the Probate Registry in High Holborn, originally registered at Llandudno. Probate was granted to Lionel’s son-in-law Ephraim Wolff, married to his daughter Conchita (whose given name was presumably inspired by that of her Spanish grandmother).

 

[5]Information about the Spanish side of the family from Dr Enriqueta Harris Frankfort. Lionel and Enriqueta Rodríguez’s marriage certificate could be found in the Overseas Marriages 1896-1900 section in the Family Records Centre in 2002.  The entry in the Madrid registry, vol. 10 fol. 891, was photocopied for Nigel Glendinning in 2002 at the Family Record Centre and given to Enriqueta Harris.

[6]Information given in an article in the Evening Standard July 9, 1938, known from a photocopy formerly in the possession of Enriqueta Harris Frankfort. with additional material from The London Gazette discovered by Morlin.

[7]The term Barmaster is apparently used of local judges in mines who assess the quality of ore extracted.

[8]Information from letters written by Lionel to his father, formerly in the possession of Dr. Enriqueta Harris Frankfort.

[9]Transcript of the entry for the family in the census obtained by Morlin.

[9b] Information from the archives of The Times obtained by Morlin . It seems that 44 Conduit Street had been called The Spanish Art Gallery as early as 1898, when the Empress Frederick visited it one afternoon in December that year, according to The Times.

 

[10]Transcript obtained by Morlin .

[11]Information from research in the Victoria & Albert Museum archives by Dr Marjorie Trusted and her colleagues.

[12]See Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, Catalogue of Paintings, I, Dutch Flemish French German Spanish, Cambrudge, 1960, Nº 708, pp. 210-211; and Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño, La pintura española fuera de España, Madrid, Espasa Calpe, 1958, Nº  56.

[13]Information deduced from research on works sold to the V & A carried out by Dr Marjorie Trusted. The prosperity of the family in the 1920s was marked by the move of their private residence from Lymington Road to the far grander Fitzjohns Avenue.

[14]It should be possible to establish further information about William in Wales starting from the recollections of those who knew him there, such as members of the family of Morlin , and Professor David Davies, who may additionally be able to throw further light on his relations with Enriqueta and other members of the Harris family.

 

[15]See Anthony Blunt’s article on Tomás in the Dictionary of National Biography, 1961-1970, Oxford University Press, 1981, p. 493.

[16]A copy of the will obtained from the Probate registry in Holborn in 2002 shows that Lionel knew that the assets of his business had been deprived of their true value by the war and the depression that preceded it, but hoped that they would recover their worth when the war was over. When he made his will he was particularly concerned to look after the female members of his family, although he also wished to continue to support the children of his son William: Gordon, Ronald and David, and a granddaughter called Maureen, who is yet to be identified. His estate was valued for probate at £56, 222 and 16 shillings, a not inconsiderable sum if multiplied by the appropriate factor to give an equivalent in today’s money.

[17]See An Exhibition of Old Masters by Spanish Artists at the Galleries of Tomas Harris Ltd, 29, Bruton Street, London W 1 (June 1931) and From Greco to Goya, Tomas Harris Ltd, The Spanish Art Gallery. 6, Chesterfield Gardens, 1938. The family seem to have lived at Chesterfield Gardens in the Mayfair area during the war, and it was presumably there that Tomás and his wife Hilda gave famously lively parties for their arty and secret service friends.

 

[18]Observation of Dr Marjorie Trusted.

[19]Information from Morlin  based on references in the National Archives to the gift of Goya prints.

[20]See Javier Juárez, Juan Pujol, el espía que derrotó a Hitler, Madrid, 2004; and Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm. The Authorized History of MI 5, London, Allen Lane, 2009.

Many Thanks to Nigel Glendinning (Professor of art history at London University) for sending us the above document about my Harris Family. Nigel was good friend with Tomas Harris, and has known Enriqueta Harris for many years, right up until her death in 2006.

 

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This is the Introduction written by ANTHONY BLUNT in the catalogue for the Tomas Harris Art Exhibition held in 1975 at the Courtauld Institute in London in memory of Tomas Harris

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The first thing that struck one about Tomas Harris was the total enthusiasm  with which he threw himself into any enterprise on which he embarked. Whether it was discovering an unknown painting by El Greco in an obscure Spanish collection, mastering a new painting technique, scrutinizing Goya’s etchings or exploiting the possibilities of an intelligence scheme against the Nazis. At that particular moment all his energies and all his imaginative force went into that one objective, which did not prevent him, a day – or an hour – later, when that particular problem had been solved, from turning with equal enthusiasm to one of his other interests, or simply to an activity in which he was an expert, entertaining his friends.

Tomas was one of the most complete human beings I have ever known. He will be mainly remembered as someone who was an expert on Spanish art, particularly on the art of El Greco and Goya, but his range of interests was much wider than that. In the arts his natural gifts were almost frightening. In 1923 he was awarded the Trevelyn-Goodall scholarship at the Slade School in London, only to find that, as he was only 15, he was theoretically too young to be eligible. In later life he had only to take up some technique – in painting, engraving, sculpture, or ceramics, to find that in a very short time he had mastered the problems involved and could use the technique with as much skill as the accepted experts. Indeed it may have been this virtuosity which prevented him from attaining in his art that concentration which was essential if his ideas were to receive complete expression. Variety of invention, range and brilliance of technique, vigour of expression – these are the qualities which stand out from the works here listed, whether in painting, engravings, sculpture, glass or ceramics.

But his art was only a part of his life.  His activities as a picture-dealer were brilliantly successful and were combined with a reputation for absolute probity which sometimes aroused jealousy among his competitors. His warmth and generosity brought him a wide circle of friends in varied fields – the art world, business, and government departments.  He was not in the strict sense of the word an intellectual, but his intuition was uncanny and having made a discovery by instinct he knew how to follow it up and consolidate it by reasoning and accumulation of evidence. It is characteristic that one of his most important acquisitions during his life as an art-dealer – a series of fifteenth-century German panels, which had incidentally once been in the National Gallery – was bought among the contents of an out-house at a country sale. Another instance was in the magnificent pair of ???????, now in the Courtauld Institute Galleries, which he saw, totally repainted, in a sale, and bought because when he opened them they smelled old.

Tomas was born in 1908, the son of an English father and a Spanish mother. His father, Lionel Harris, founded the Spanish Art Gallery, and it is no exaggeration to say that for half a century all the most important works of art which were brought to the UK from Spain came through him or, after his retirement, through Tomas. He was among the first English dealers to realise the importance of El Greco, and he also owned masterpieces by artists such as Velazquez and Goya. His interests, however, were not limited to the painting, and in his gallery one would be certain of seeing magnificent medieval tapestries, Oriental carpets and Renaissance gold and silver work.

Tomas was, therefore, brought up in an atmosphere which made him appreciate beautiful things, but his own inclination was to become a practising artist rather than a dealer. His early acceptance into the Slade School in London looked like the beginning of a brilliant career and was followed by a year studying painting and sculpture at the British Academy in Rome, where he learnt nothing from the teaching but had the opportunity to absorb all that Rome had to offer to a young art student. In 1930, however, he decided to go into art-dealing, first running a firm on his own and later joining his father as a director of the Spanish Art Gallery.

At the outbreak of war Tomas joined the War office, where his intimate knowledge of Spain was of great value. His greatest achievement, however, was as one of the principle organisers of what has been described as the greatest double-cross operation of the war – ‘Operation Garbo’ – which seriously misled the Germans about the Allied plans for the invasion of France. The story has been told,  in the semi-official account of the double-cross network, but in fact the success of the operation was mainly due to the extraordinary imaginative power with which Tomas directed it. In fact, he ‘lived’ the deception, to the extent that, when he was talking in the small circle of people concerned, it was difficult to tell whether he was talking about real events or one of the fantastic stories which he had just put across to the Nazi-Intelligence Service. After the invasion of France one of the highest commanders said that the Garbo operation was worth an armoured division. Tomas’s imagination could be turned to practical as well as artistic ends.

After the war he decided to give up art-dealing and devote himself to his two real passions: painting and collecting. Even during the war he had not entirely abandoned painting and in 1943, in spite of his other activities, he held a one-man show. This exhibition, in the constricted galleries of Reid and Lefevre, then in King Street, St James’s, was impressive and even somewhat frightening through the sheer nervous intensity of the paintings, which reflected the strain under which Tomas was living and working.

Once he had freed himself from his commitments as a dealer he spent more and more time in Spain, first in Malaga and Madrid and later in Mallorca where he built himself a house at Camp de Mar. He drew a great deal of inspiration from the landscape of Mallorca and many of the landscapes in the present exhibition are of scenes near Camp de Mar. To most observers the technique of these paintings – and of much of his earlier work – is strongly reminiscent of Van Gogh, but, if one suggested this to him, he absolutely denied ever having intended to imitate this artist.

In the years before the war Tomas’s interests had been mainly directed towards painting, but he now began to experiment in a much wider range of media, including etching, ceramics, stained glass, and tapestry. In the field he had the extraordinary privalege of being the first independent artist since Goya to have his cartoons woven at the Royal Tapestry Factory in Madrid. It is in these weeks that his astonishing versatility is most brilliantly displayed.

While devoting a great deal of his time to his activities as a creative artist, Tomas was also able to develop his interest in collecting. During his years of art-dealing he had brought together certain groups of works of art, particularly drawings, textiles and jewellery, and he now began to study these in a much more systematic way. The textiles consisted of pieces – large or small – of embroideries, brocades, figured silk dresses and waistcoats, or panels from ecclesiastical vestments, dating from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, mainly Spanish, Italian, or French in origin. Tomas framed these fragments in cardboard mounts, like huge drawings, and organised them into a series which illustrated some of the most important aspects of silk-weaving and embroidery over three centuries. A selection of these was shown at the Courtauld Institute Galleries in 1968, and later, his family presented the whole of this magnificent collection to the Courtauld Institute in his memory.

His first collection made from scratch, so to speak, was of drawings and etchings by  Giambattista and Giandomenico Tiepolo,  and the discriminating taste with which he selected these came out very clearly when the collection was shown at the Arts Council Gallery in St James’s Square in 1955. Next he turned his attention to Durer and rapidly formed an outstanding collection of his woodcuts and engravings. He also began to interest himself in Rembrandt etchings, but his death prevented him from carrying this collection very far.

By far his greatest achievement as a collector and as a scholar was however connected with Goya. He began with a plan to make as complete a collection as possible of the artists etchings and lithographs, but gradually he became involved in a project of quite a different kind. Looking for information to the accepted authority on the subject, he discovered that the more he read the more mistakes he detected: and so he found himself gradually forced into the position of having to do Delteil’swork over again and prepare his own catalogue. The result was the two-volume work which appeared a year after his death. In this book he showed that Delteil’s account was not merely inaccurate, but basically wrong, and that in addition to confusing different impressions and issues he had invented a number which in fact never existed. Tomas’s practical knowledge of etching, in which he had taken a course at the Slade School after the war, was of the greatest value to him, and he was helped by the lynx-eye of his collaborator, Juliet Wilson, who could spot a touch of dry-point so small that no one else could detect it without a glass. In many ways this book was his greatest achievement:  it contained an analysis of the various states of the etchings, of a kind that could only be made by someone who knew the techniques involved and who could study the originals at leisure in his own collection: and this analysis led to a completely new estimate of Goya’s method of working. The brilliant photographs of details from the etchings, which Tomas made himself,  illustrate in the most cogent manner points which he made in the text.

In 1954 part of Tomas’s collection of Goya etchings was shown at the Arts Council Gallery, but far more important was the great exhibition held at the British Museum in 1963-1964 which was almost entirely drawn from Tomas’s collection. This collection, which was described by Mr Edward Croft-Murray, then Keeper of Prints and Drawings, as ‘the richest and most complete of its kind ever to be assembled’ was placed on indefinite loan at the British Museum Print Room, and recently Tomas’s family have offered it to the museum as a permanent memorial to him. To celebrate this magnificent gift a selection of the etchings will be shown in the Courtauld Institute Galleries immediately after the closing of the present exhibition.

Tomas Harris was killed in a motor accident in Mallorca on the 27th January 1964. To say that his death was a shock to his friends is a feeble statement of what they felt; and the loss to the art world was equally great. At 56 he seemed to be just starting on a new career as a scholar and art-historian. Might he have done for others – Durer and Rembrandt – what he did for Goya? Alas! we shall never know.

ANTHONY BLUNT  

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My research has led me to many articles written by Anthony Blunt about his good friend and colleague – the Late Tomas Harris (my grandfathers brother). Anthony Blunt wrote many tributes to Tomas for newspapers and Exhibition catalogues. Anthony Blunt was also good friends with Tomas’s sister Enriqueta Harris.

<— View details of article written by Anthony Blunt the week after Tomas’s death in the car accident in Mallorca

View Blunts introduction about Tomas Harris in the catalogue produced for the Tomas Harris 1975 Art Exhibition at the Courtauld Institute   —>

View Another Anthony Blunt article about Tomas Harris <— (Please note that article tells that Tomas designed and built his house in Camp de Mar in Mallorca, this is not correct – He purchased the house and renovated it – see photos of house before and after renovation in the Camp de Mar Gallery)

Anthony Blunt was  Knighted in 1956  and awarded an honorary fellowship at Trinity College. In 1978, while a distinguished Art historian at the Courtauld institute,  he was stripped of his knighthood and removed as an Honary member of Trinity college because his role as a Soviet Spy during the war had become exposed.

Blunt <– Wiki link was a Warburg Institute professor; director of the Courtauld Institute and professor at the University of London, before and after the war. He specialised in French and Italian Art. Enriqueta Harris, Tomas’s sister, specialised in Spanish Art, and had also worked at the Courtauld Institute. Henri Frankfort had become  director of the Warburg Institute in London in 1948,  and married Enriqueta Harris who worked at the Courtauld Institute just two years before he died in 1954.

Blunt had spent five years serving in MI5 during the war and was lavishly entertained (along with Guy Burgess, David Liddell and  Kim Philby) at the Mayfair and Logan Place residences of Tomas and his wife Hilda. Blunt was interviewed by Nigel West, author of GARBO, in May 1981, during which he informed Nigel West that in 1944 he had been introduced to GARBO (MI5’s double spy) by Tomas Harris (Garbos MI5 controller) over dinner at a restaurant in Jermyn Street in London.

Blunt was a member of the group known as the Cambridge Five <– Wiki Link . Wikipedia states that the five names refer to the fact that all members became committed Communists while attending Cambridge University in the 1930s..

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War years -Tomas moved from Chesterfield Gardens to here - Garden Lodge

Garden Lodge, Logan Place

In 1948  Tomas moved the Spanish Art Gallery to Garden Lodge, Logan Place, Kensington,London W8 where he and his wife Hilde were known to entertain their friends in high places (from MI5 and the art world). Then at some point after he  also purchased some land in Andratx, Mallorca and remodelled a house with cactus gardens, an art Studio, and farm.

Tomas owned the Garden Lodge and the El Studio at Camp de Mar and settled in Mallorca, where he devoted himself to his own art, mastering almost all techniques: oil, engraving, lithography, sculpture, stained glass and tapestries. His main inspiration was the island landscape, particularly that of Andratx, which he loved. He painted many scenes of the Mallorcan Landscape. Sadly Tomas died at 58,  in a car crash in 1964, in Mallorca.

The Garden Lodge at Logan Place became,  many years after Tomas’s death, the home of the singer Freddy Mercury (Queen).

Ana Torrojo, a famous Spanish lead singer of the trio Mecano (which has probably been the most popular band from Spain) now owns the painters art studio.

Close friends of Tomas own the house in Camp De Mar in Andratx to this day. They had been friends with Tomas Harris when he lived there, and after he died, they purchased the property which Tomas had designed and built.  Their son grew up in the house that Tomas built, and even today it is still very much like it was when Tomas lived in it. His memory lives on…

 

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