Wilson Online Reference
James Staats Forbes, 1823-1904
Connection to Wilson
Biographical Details
Forbes was a Scottish railway engineer, a railway administrator in Britain and the Netherlands and a connoisseur and collector of art. He was born on 7 March 1823 in Aberdeen and trained as a draughtsman in the office of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He became Chairman of Edison and Swan Electric Light Company and President of the National Telephone Company and built up a large art collection, notably of Barbizon artists, C19 Dutch painters and Whistler. He lived at Garden Corner, 13, Chelsea Embankment. After his death on 5 April 1904, 400 of his works were exhibited at the Grafton Galleries, London, many of which were bought by Abraham Preyer. A further exhibition was held at Brighton in 1908. He was uncle of the painter, Stanhope Alexander Forbes.

Forbes owned at least three paintings by Wilson:
P88A Syon House from Richmond Gardens - I
P138H The West Belvedere at Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli
P176B Gypsies on the Way to Rome
Significant institutions
Grafton Galleries