Victor Musgrave

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Victor Musgrave (1919–1984) was a British poet, art dealer and curator. Described by David Sylvester as a 'true pioneer' Musgrave was the first gallerist to show Bridget Riley and was a champion of Art Brut. He often bragged that he was the only art dealer who did not wear a tie.

Musgrave ran 'Gallery One' between 1953 and 1963, first in Litchfield Street then moving to D'Arblay Street in Soho.[1] The gallery gave Yves Klein his first solo exhibition in London and also presented work by Fluxus artists. In the 1950s he had several exhibits of work by Francis Newton Souza. He also gave the British artist Bridget Riley her first exhibition.

Musgrave was married to the portrait photograper Ida Kar until her death in 1974. It was Musgrave's conception that Kar formed her group of young budding photographers during 1968, that was known as KarSEC. The group consisted of Kar, Leslie Smithers, Lawrence Ellar & John Couzins. The group were based at their home in Mayfair's 16 Rex Place. It was also at this address during 1967 that Musgrave collaborated with the Japanese artist Yoko Ono and her then husband the American film director Tony Cox with her avant garde film 'Bottoms.'

In 1977, when Musgrave met Monika Kinley, a fellow art dealer, collector and curator who was to become his life partner. Together they put on exhibitions, raised funding and started a collection of outsider art.[2]


The Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection of about 800 works was given to the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, facilitated by the Contemporary Art Society. Previously it was on loan for ten years at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Dublin.[3]


  1. ^ "Victor Musgrave (1919-1984), Art dealer and collector; founder of Gallery One". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Dempsey, Andrew (6 April 2014). "Monika Kinley obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection". Contemporary Art Society. Retrieved 5 May 2014.