Locally residing writer, Patricia Cornwell, author of Portrait of a Killer, a novel about sleuthing the identity of Jack the Ripper, the London East End killer, has promised a gift of over 80 works by 19th century artist Walter Sickert to the Fogg Museum of Harvard University. Based on real life historical research involving analysis through conservation investigation.
Sickert is concluded to be “The Ripper” in the story of Portrait.
The promised gift is a result of the relationship developed between Cornwell and the museum, after collaborating resources to further investigate the connection of the artist to the murderer. Cornwell began collecting the Sickerts during research into Portrait and wants the museum of have them, in part, to continue research and offer the public a chance to view the work.
The collection includes a number of paintings, drawings, and prints. Should the collection go the Fogg, it will have the largest institutional collection of Sickerts, second to the Tate in London.
The link between Sickert and Jack the Ripper is questioned by a number of experts and biographers, including Matthew Sturgis, who recently wrote a biography of Walter Sickert and disputes Cornwell’s evidence.
Story courtesy of Martin Bailey of the The Art Newspaper
Read more the Sickert/Ripper connection in this story from The Boston Globe
Image courtesy of the Tate Gallery, London.