Bulletin: The University Newsletter
The University of Sussex

Obituary

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Thomas Barlow

Photo of Sir Thomas Barlow and his brother

In 1997 the University awarded Captain Sir Thomas Barlow (far left) and his brother, Dr Erasmus Barlow, honorary degrees of Doctor of Letters at a special ceremony in Swanborough Manor. This was in recognition for their work over many years as trustees of the Barlow Collection.

Captain Sir Thomas Barlow, a former trustee of the Barlow Collection of Chinese Ceramics, Bronzes and Jades, died on 12 October at the age of 89.

The 400-piece collection was formed by his father Sir Alan Barlow and bequeathed to the University in 1968 so that it could be used for teaching and display purposes. Many of the pieces have been on display since 1974, when the Barlow Gallery opened and the first Barlow Lecture was given.

"It is especially sad that Thomas did not live long enough to attend the 30th anniversary event next February," says his daughter, Dr Monica Barlow. "He was much looking forward to it. Although he had handed over the reins of trusteeship to me some years ago, he still took great interest in the collection."

Sir Thomas and his brother Dr Erasmus Barlow had been trustees for over 20 years and in 1997 the University awarded them the honorary degrees of Doctor of Letters at a special ceremony.

"He was very excited to be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University," recalls Monica. "For a man who went to sea as soon as he could reasonably leave school, this was an accolade he had never expected."

Among the finest collections of Chinese ceramics in Britain, the Barlow Collection is actively used for research and for teaching, giving students of art history the opportunity to learn about museum practice and Chinese material culture.

"I hope we can continue to ensure that the collection is well used by students and others. It was pleasurable enjoyment of the pieces that my father most wanted to provide," says Monica.

28th November 2003

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