Art: Midwife of the Arts

At his Chartwell country estate years ago, Winston Churchill was deploring a picture that Art Patron Eddie Marsh had persuaded Mrs. Churchill to buy. Said Painter Walter Sickert, who was visiting Churchill: "Our little friend Eddie is not without a certain idiot flair." Last week, four months after Edward Howard Marsh died at the age of 80, a London gallery displayed the pick of the pictures he had collected for himself over the years, and the critics came to a kinder conclusion: "A great midwife of the arts."

A bouncy, tireless man-about-town to the end, Eddie Marsh started collecting pictures at the...

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