Jonathan Benson

Jonathan first became involved with The Victor Batte-Lay Foundation in 2012 when asked to assess the collection for Insurance purposes in his role as Auctioneer and Valuer at Colchester’s oldest Auction House, Reeman Dansie. The firm have had a long and happy relationship with both the Foundation and the Minories.

As a teenager he had been involved with various fundraising events run by the Friends of The Minories and this is where his love for art and important architecture grew.

Throughout his time as a Director he has been involved with the streamlining of the collection, suggesting which works should be sold to make way for more appropriate ones, particularly by notable East Anglian artists and sculptors. He is passionate about constantly adding new works to an already important collection.

His favourite works in the collection are amongst the earliest held within it, those of John Vine. Although as an artist he was seriously deformed he earned respect from East Anglian owners and breeders of livestock and painted many fine animal and bird portraits, such works are now highly sought after by collectors.

Jonathan is also a Trustee of The Cedric Morris Foundation, fully involved with Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury, an avid collector of 18th and 19th century watercolours and determined to make Colchester and the wider area more aware of the fine collection held by The Victor Batte-Lay Foundation and the historic landmark of The Minories.