1881 - 1960

Thomas and Robert Gayer-Anderson

Thomas Gayer Anderson and Robert Greville Gayer-Anderson, were identical twin brothers, born in Ireland on 29 July 1881, sons of Robert Henry Anderson and his wife Mary née Morgan, who took the name Gayer-Anderson. In 1884, their father moved to Tonbridge, Kent so that his sons could be schooled at Tonbridge, both brothers followed service careers, along separate though occasionally converging paths. Though separated by great distances early in their careers, they were intensely conscious of their relationship and thought of themselves as a unity: thus, they were able to acquire independently yet build and hold the collection in common with untroubled unanimity. Thomas entered the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich in 1898 and was commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery in 1899 and later passed through Staff College. He served in the Boer War in South Africa 1900-1902 and in Sudan, being seconded to the Egyptian Army 1911-1914. He served in Europe during the first world war, both brothers were at Gallipoli in 1915, which reinforced their high regard for the Australian forces, during which time Thomas was Mentioned in Dispatches eight times. Thomas spent two years in Constantinople and was promoted to Colonel in 1922. He had a spell at Staff College, Camberley followed by three years on the General Staff in India before retiring to Little Hall, Lavenham, Suffolk in 1929. Thomas was a keen draughtsman and was prompted to seek out images in that medium and during a collecting tour through Rajputana, India he recorded that Indian drawings were then so little considered locally that owners would not produce them unless pressed to do so. On his retirement was a figure painter who exhibited three painting at the Royal Academy 1929-1938. Thomas died at Lavenham on 10 June 1960. The brothers had been great art lovers and they collected miniatures, paintings, and several other art objects from different regions of India and Egypt and donated their collections to different museums, including Australia, Cairo, the FitzWilliam Museum Cambridge, the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. The brothers, when younger, were noted for their fine horsemanship and for their unusually large moustaches, and who both returned to the active list for the second world war. The brothers were founders of the Lavenham Preservation Society in 1944 and supported many local causes and groups.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from The Naval and Military Club, 94 Piccadilly, West London
1929 795 The Three Inseparables
from Lavenham, Suffolk
1936 505 A Village Boy
from 33 Arkwright Road, Northwest London
1938 684 Neighbours

Works by This Artist