BPROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE LATE EDWARD J POWER
Edward J 'Ted' Power (1899-1993), a radio and radar pioneer was to become the most extraordinary collector and champion of modern art, building what was one of the most important collections of post-war international art of his generation.
Born in Ireland, he grew up in Manchester and at the age of sixteen joined the Royal Navy as a wireless operator. Leaving the Navy in the early 1920s, Power went into business as a manufacturer of crystal sets and transformers and in 1929 he formed a partnership with Frank Murphy, an old family friend. The partnership resulted in the firm Murphy Radio, and eventually he sold control of the company to the Rank Organisation in 1962. It was in retirement that Ted Power devoted himself to collecting art.
Power was a Trustee of the Tate Gallery from 1968 to 1974 and was a generous benefactor, donating works by British and foreign artists, keen to expand the Gallerys representation of 'new' art. In 1980 the Tate acquired from him a group of 23 works which included 'Eve' by Barnett Newman and 'The Tree of Fluids' by Jean Dubuffet. After his death in 1993 a further six works from his estate were allocated to the Tate by the Department of National Heritage in lieu of tax.
An exhibition at the Tate, 'Branscusi to Beuys': works from the Ted Power Collection, was mounted 19 November 1996-16 February 1997, thus securing the importance of Powers role in the British art scene through his collecting and friendship with artists.