Wednesday 23 October 2013
We are very sorry to report that Paul Collen, who worked at the RCM for more than 25 years, died peacefully on Friday after a short illness.
Having gained a degree in architecture at Bristol University in 1977, Paul took up a career as violinist and teacher, and was awarded a diploma from the National Centre for Orchestral Studies at Goldsmiths College. He joined the RCM in 1987 as Assistant Keeper in the Department of Portraits and Performance History, and proceeded to take on a variety of roles, most recently that of Curatorial and Administrative Assistant within the RCM’s Centre for Performance History.
Paul developed an unrivalled knowledge of the RCM’s extensive collection of works of art, photographs, programmes and personal archives. He played a crucial role in helping researchers from within and outside the RCM locate whatever they are seeking.
His architect’s eye was reflected in his work as a photographer. He was responsible for one of the most familiar images of the Blomfield Building – as seen on one of the RCM postcards – as well as for many of the photographs of items from the RCM’s art collection that are used worldwide. His practical skills were also essential for the creation of many of the exhibitions and displays seen around the RCM.
He will be sorely missed by his colleagues. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family.