Although Calouste Gulbenkian was born in the Ottoman Empire (Üsküdar, Turkey), and his ancestry was Armenian for many centuries, he established lifetime connections with the United Kingdom. His graduation at King’s College (c.1884-1887), his marriage in London (1892), the same town where he buys 38 Hyde Park Gardens, one of the family abodes for twenty-five years (1898) and where his second child is born (1900).
He acquires British nationality (1902), develops business and trade links, and establishes many connections with art dealers and experts in Britain. Many of the latter will be key-figures in advising him on his art acquisitions.
The exhibition allows for a different perspective on collecting, and includes works that are usually kept on storage - paintings, sculptures, prints, and books, mainly from his documentation library – will aim to reveal more of his personality and interests.