TWO rare paintings by a little-known Coventry artist have been donated to the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.
Victor Hammond is believed to have been a designer or graphic artist in the Coventry car industry from the 1930s through to the 1960s.
Persimmon Homes Central donated the pictures after stumbling onto a historic link with the site of its new housing developments.
The developers are creating a collection of two, three, four and five-bedroom homes at Paragon Park, in Foleshill Road.
The site once housed the Courtaulds factory, which is depicted in one of the paintings, while the other shows men working on a gantry at Coventry Brick Works.
The paintings have been praised for bringing to life the city’s industrial heritage.
Courtaulds textile company opened their Coventry factory in 1905 next to the Coventry Canal at Foleshill.
It became one of the city’s most successful companies, opening a further site at Little Heath and employing thousands of people.
Art dealer Jenny Tudor, of Jenny Tudor Pictures, found a collection of works by Hammond at a Cotswold auction, including illustrations of cars produced in the region.
She said: “For me, the two stand-out pieces, both dated 1937, were a depiction of men working in the riverside yard at the Courtaulds factory and another of men working on a gantry at Coventry Brick Works.
“There is so much period detail in them that I felt they were of social history importance as part of Coventry’s industrial past and should be conserved.
“I am so pleased that Persimmon Homes has generously decided to buy them to present to the museum.
“Little is known about Victor Hammond and I hope local people will be able to provide a little more information about this very talented artist.”
Cultural and creative director of Culture Coventry Francis Ranford said: “The paintings generously gifted by Persimmon Homes will enrich our collection of visual arts by Coventry artists and enable us to share with visitors further insight into the city’s industrial heritage. We are extremely grateful.”
Culture Coventry is the trust which manages the Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry Transport Museum and Lunt Roman Fort.
Director-in-charge of Persimmon Homes Central Neil Williams said: “It is important to us to support the communities in which we build, and it is an honour to be able to preserve a piece of Coventry’s history by buying these pictures and donating them to the museum for all to enjoy.”