Family honouring St Albans teacher’s final wish by searching for art lovers

PUBLISHED: 11:00 12 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:19 12 October 2018

Marsden Hammant's last wish was for his work to be donated to someone who would value it. Picture: Alison Pearson

Marsden Hammant's last wish was for his work to be donated to someone who would value it. Picture: Alison Pearson

Archant

Can you help find a loving home for a lifetime collection of work from a well-respected St Albans artist?

Marsden and Marion HammantMarsden and Marion Hammant

St Albans resident of 25 years, Marsden Hammant, was an art teacher at Oaklands College for many years before he lost a battle with cancer in 2012.

Marsden’s will specified that the vast collection of his creations be donated free of charge to a person or organisation who will value and enjoy them.

The landscapes include both oil canvas, chalk, paintings, drawings and collage.

When he died Marsden’s wife Marion held onto the pieces, but in April she also passed away from cancer at 80 years old.

One of Marsden Hammant's pieces. Picture: Alison PearsonOne of Marsden Hammant's pieces. Picture: Alison Pearson

Marion’s sister, Alison Pearson, is now in charge of the couple’s estate and would like to fulfil Marsden’s last wish.

She lives in Norfolk: “I don’t know what to do with them, I don’t live in St Albans and I can’t bring myself to take them to the dump because it’s a man’s life work and people like it.

“If you would value them and remember Marsden, then you are welcome to have them.”

Alison admitted to knowing very little about art, but described the pieces as modern and abstract in nature.

An example of Marsden Hammant's work, which needs a home. Picture: Alison PearsonAn example of Marsden Hammant's work, which needs a home. Picture: Alison Pearson

They were exhibited around St Albans and London, including at The Maltings Arts Centre, Hertfordshire Open Studios, and Fovea Gallery, and valued between £30 and £700.

She added: “But he didn’t want to make any money - he has very keen on the fact that they should go to people who value his work, so we don’t want to make money either.”

However, Alison is worried about unwittingly handing them to a conman or dealer, who has no sentimental attachment to the pieces and will simply sell them on for profit - against Marsden’s wishes.

Alison is considering asking for a small fee for the paintings to be donated to a cancer charity - but that is undecided.

She added: “He was quite a reserved person, he wasn’t showy and he supported Marion in her campaigning in St Albans. She was involved in a lot of campaigns.”

Marion was involved in lobbying to save the former Odeon building, now the Odyssey, from being flattened into flats. She also campaigned against the opening of too many coffee chains in St Albans.

Contact Alison on alison@sunrose.co.uk to register an interest in the paintings.

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