Ten pieces of James Fairfax's art donated to Bowral hospital

James Fairfax's joint executors Allen Robinson and Edward Simpson with Bowral and District Hospital director of nursing and midwifery Susan Hair with a painting by  Bryan Westwood.
James Fairfax's joint executors Allen Robinson and Edward Simpson with Bowral and District Hospital director of nursing and midwifery Susan Hair with a painting by Bryan Westwood.

Some of James Fairfax’s prized paintings have a new home. 

Mr Fairfax was known for his incredible art collection, and some of it has been donated to Bowral and District Hospital. 

Mr Fairfax’s joint executors Allen Robinson and Edward Simpson presented 10 works to hospital staff on March 13.

Mr Robinson said Mr Fairfax would have been very pleased that the artworks had found a new home. 

“James did have a close affinity with local things and he actually game to Bowral Hospital once or twice,” he said. 

“I worked with him for 40 years so I feel I knew him very well, he was a kind and thoughtful man and very generous. 

“I think he would be very happy to see these artworks hanging on the walls of the hospital.”

Mr Simpson said Mr Fairfax had planned where most of his artwork would go before he passed away. 

One of the donated paintings.

One of the donated paintings.

“His thoughts about how to contribute to community and to making a difference to people’s lives permeated his whole life, that was very much central to him,” he said. 

“His artworks were his babies, he didn’t have human babies and we grabbed the opportunity [to give these artworks to the hospital] and we are very pleased.”

Bowral and District Hospital director of nursing and midwifery Susan Hair said hospital staff were very grateful for the donation. 

“I think it’s important to recognise that Bowral has a significant history, the people that go along with it, and that that can be represented by works of art,” she said. 

“It’s very well documented that art is a type of therapy, and that in a therapeutic environment patients can be influenced by what they see so we are very mindful that we demonstrate that in our new building.” 

One of the artworks donated is by Bryan Westwood, who famously won an Archibald Prize for his portrait of Paul Keating.