He [E. J. Power] had an amazingly developed eye, based on looking, his natural intelligence and never closing his mind to anything new’ - L. Waddington
‘Ted Power and I became friends during the last twenty years of his life. At first, before his wife Rene’s death in 1978, I would go up to the flat in Grosvenor Square and we would sit drinking whisky, discussing and arguing for hours, surrounded by paintings and sculpture by people such as Dubuffet, Pollock, Turnbull, Newman, Hodgkin, Giacometti, de Staël and perhaps some new artists I would not know, whose work he wanted to test. Occasionally he would have some of the paintings replaced, because he liked change.
In the last ten years of his life, whenever we were in England, he would come to the house for lunch nearly every Sunday, sometimes alone but mostly with mutual friends. We would start talking and before we knew it, it was early evening and somehow or other he would have again opened our minds with his innate perception, never exaggerated, always exact.
… His approach was always empirical, he had to find out for himself, whether it was with art, farming, horses, radar, wine; he would observe, taste or test, discuss and come to a decision – although all decisions were subject to constant questioning and revision. I suppose his most attractive quality, apart from his human warmth, experience and generosity, was this open intelligence. Early in our friendship I dismissed some school of art and he quietly said to me that I should not let that limit my interest in art, that I should pick the best from each school or area: this was wonderful advice, if only I had been as perceptive as he. It summed up his collecting, of course. He had an amazingly developed eye, based on looking, his natural intelligence and never closing his mind to anything new.
His twentieth-century collection, apart from a few photographs by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy that he bought in the 1930s, started in 1951 with a Jack Yeats painting that he bought from my father in Dublin... He was to move swiftly in his collecting through people like Sickert, Soulages, Matthew Smith, de Staël, until by the late 1950s and early 1960s he was collecting in depth artists like Jorn, Picabia, Dubuffet, Newman, Rothko and Warhol. During this period, except for the Institute of Contemporary Arts in Dover Street, where Lawrence Alloway organised the exhibitions, and the Whitechapel Art Gallery, directed by Bryan Robertson, the only place in London where you could continually see great international contemporary art was in Ted and Rene’s flat. The ICA was a meeting place for artists and people who were involved in modern art, and yet it was in their flat in Grosvenor Square that many of the most serious discussions took place with individual artists, some of whose names I mention here’ (L. Waddington, ‘Memories’, in J. Mundy (ed.), Brancusi to Beuys: Works from the Ted Powers Collection, exh. cat, London, Tate Gallery, 1996, p. 8).