Ewbank's To Sell Works By Lichtenstein, Broodthaers, Henry Moore And Others In Auction Of The Michae On June 27, works by Roy Lichtenstein, Marcel Broodthaers, Terry Frost, Henry Moore, Richard Long, Victor Newsome, Keith Milow, Billy Al Bengston and others will be sold by UK auctioneer Ewbank's.
Michael Compton was born in Minehead, Somerset, while his parents were on leave from India where he spent his early childhood. Educated in England and South Africa, he studied naval architecture before turning to art history, graduating from the Courtauld Institute in 1952.
From 1953 Compton worked in public museums, beginning at Leeds Art Gallery (1953-57) where he catalogued the watercolour collection at Temple Newsam House, followed by the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, where he was Keeper of Foreign Art. In 1960, he was appointed Director of the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull for which he acquired the first David Hockney to enter a museum. He joined the Tate Gallery as Assistant Keeper of the Modern Collection in 1965 and worked there until his retirement in 1987.
Early in 1968, a Churchill Travelling Fellowship gave him three months in the U.S. to explore contemporary American art, instigating contemporary exhibitions, beginning with the Roy Lichtenstein show of 1968. In 1971, he curated the Andy Warhol and Robert Morris exhibitions, the former a great success, the latter a disaster, although it was re-staged in 2009 to great acclaim.
In the 1970s, Compton planned an extension to the Tate Gallery (today Tate Britain) to provide special space for exhibitions, which opened in 1979. Additionally, he was invited to join British Council and Arts Council committees and became involved with exhibitions at the Hayward Gallery in London and British Council exhibitions overseas. He also represented Britain on the International Committee of Modern Art Museums (CIMAM).
By the time he retired in 1987 he was the most "international" curator in London, connecting his up-to-date knowledge of British art to first-hand experience of contemporary art in Europe and the United States. In recognition of this he was created C.B.E. He died last year, leaving a widow, who lives in Surrey, and two daughters.
For further information, please contact the auctioneers on 01483 223101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.