Robert Hudson Tannahill

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
One time home of Robert Hudson Tannahill in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan

Robert Hudson Tannahill (April 1, 1893 – September 25, 1969)[1] was a Detroit art collector and benefactor.


Tannahill was a nephew of department store magnate Joseph Lowthian Hudson and a cousin of Eleanor Clay Ford, wife of Henry Ford's only son Edsel.[2] He was the only son of Robert Blyth Tannahill and Anna Elizabeth Hudson. His father, Robert Blyth Tannahill (born in Detroit in 1863) in 1889 joined J. L. Hudson in the retail trade; married Anna Elizabeth Hudson who was one of three sisters of J. L. Hudson; by 1900, served as vice-president of the successful J. L. Hudson Department Store. Robert Hudson Tannahill was born and grew up in the William Van Moore/Robert Blyth Tannahill Home located in 67 Peterboro in the Peterboro-Charlotte Historic District in Midtown Detroit, built in 1882.

Tannahill donated 475 works of art donated during his lifetime plus cash totaling $550,000 to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). The museum received 557 additional works bequeathed upon his death that were valued at approximately $13,000,000.[3] His total gifts constitute a major portion of the permanent collection of the DIA.[4]

He served as a member of the City of Detroit Arts Commission from 1930 to 1962 and was instrumental in establishing the Detroit Artists Market. His collection focused on 19th- and 20th-century artists including Paul Cézanne, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Juan Gris, Paul Klee, John Marin, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Georges Rouault and Georges Seurat.[5] His collection also included a significant number of African sculptures.[2]


  1. ^ "Art Treasures Left to Detroit Museum". New York Times. 1 October 1969. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  2. ^ a b "Art: One Man's Fancy". Time. 28 November 1969. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  3. ^ Douglas Kohn (August 1980). "Robert Hudson Tannahill Papers" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  4. ^ "Robert H. Tannahill Society". Detroit Institute of Arts. Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  5. ^ "Tannahill, Robert Hudson". The Frick Collection. Retrieved 2011-05-16.