Essex welcomes back Sloman family for special visit

  • Date

    Thu 23 Mar 23

The University of Essex was delighted to welcome the daughters of founding Vice-Chancellor Sir Albert Sloman for a special visit to the Colchester Campus.

Anne-Veronique and Isabelle Sloman enjoyed lunch at Wivenhoe House Hotel, before being given a tour of Art Exchange’s latest exhibition, A University Art Collection in the Making.

The exhibition brings together artwork and archived materials which have played a transformational role in teaching, research and fulfilment of lives at Essex – one of Sir Albert’s core beliefs.

Letters written by Sir Albert to art collector and close friend, Jim Ede, have been displayed at Essex for the very first time as part of the exhibition, which closes on Friday (24 March).

During their visit on Wednesday, Anne-Veronique and Isabelle met Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anthony Forster.

They also got to ride on the iconic paternoster lift, based in the Albert Sloman Library.

Group photo shows (from left to right) Art Exchange Curator Jess Twyman, exhibition co-curator Dr Sarah Demelo, Isabelle Sloman, Anne-Veronique Sloman, exhibition co-curator Giselle Giron and Vice-Chancellor Anthony Forster

Anne-Veronique and Isabelle said: “It has been wonderful to return to the University of Essex; a place so close to our family’s hearts.

“Our father would have been fascinated by this wonderful exhibition and proud to see his love of the arts still being championed by the University to this day.

“He was a firm believer that the accessibility of arts at university was part of the life-long journey of education and in his own words was ‘not just with the pursuit of learning but with the fulfilment of lives’.

“We are delighted to see our father’s vision and philosophy for the University remains a fundamental part of life today.”

Sir Albert served as Essex Vice-Chancellor between 1963 and 1987, outlining his plan to place “radical innovation” at the heart of the University’s approach during the BBC’s prestigious Reith Lectures in 1963.

Professor Forster said: “It was an honour to welcome Anne-Veronique and Isabelle back to Essex to show them the exhibition inspired by their father. As the University’s first Vice-Chancellor, Sir Albert Sloman established values and principles that we continue to champion and build upon. Sir Albert’s pioneering vision for Essex was both bold and brave, and has served as an inspiration to the hundreds of thousands of students who have studied here.

“This exhibition has encapsulated his ambitions for the University and his core belief that art is crucial to a transformative education. I would like to personally thank the curators Dr Sarah Demelo and Gisselle Giron, and the rest of our library services team for putting together this wonderful display which has highlighted Sir Albert’s enduring legacy.”