News

The John Hayes Archive Is Now Catalogued

  • 26 November 2020

The John Hayes archive is now catalogued and the descriptions are available and fully searchable online. Included are Hayes’s research materials, particularly relating to his studies and publications on Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) and Graham Sutherland (1903-1980). It also includes the work he completed on the unpublished catalogue of British works at the Cincinnati Art Museum, including a full manuscript of the catalogue.

Hayes was a recognised authority on Gainsborough, and this is reflected in the archive. The collection boasts a great deal of material on the artist, including the research notes used for his edited volume, The Letters of Thomas Gainsborough (2001) and his catalogue and supplements documenting Gainsborough’s drawings (1983, 2008). However, of particular note is Hayes’s extensive correspondence on the artist, both as researcher and authority commenting on questions of attribution. His methods for reading artworks and assessing authenticity are hinted to us through annotations to the letters and scattered notes throughout his papers.

Page showing a typed letter

Letter to Alan David from Hayes, dated 3 April 1970, JTH/1/2/1,

The material on Graham Sutherland is also noteworthy as Hayes was a friend of the artist. While at the National Portrait Gallery, Hayes worked closely with Sutherland on an exhibition of portraits in 1977. They continued to corresponded from this time, and often discussed Sutherland’s works. Hayes wrote a monograph on his friend for Phaidon, sadly published just months after Sutherland’s death in 1980. While working on the book, Hayes called upon Sutherland to expand on his artistic practise by writing notes and reflections. Many of these notes were kept by Hayes and can be found in this collection.

pages with handwritten notes

‘Notes on portraiture’, manuscript notes by Graham Sutherland, dated between May 1976-28 Mar 1983, JTH/2/1,

If you would like to consult any of the material or if you have an enquiry concerning the collection, please contact us at: collections@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk