Mr. Henry Moore writes: -
I should like to add my personal tribute to the memory of my good friend Peter Gregory. Although I knew him well for 30 years, it was during the last 15 years that we spent most time together, either in this country or, very frequently, travelling abroad. He was the ideal travelling companion, never ruffled or moody or upset by difficulties: and perhaps, even more important, ever fresh and anxious to visit any place or site or building or gallery that might contain objects of beauty. In Greece, in Italy (where we went to the Etruscan sites together), in the New World, Peter, though no longer a young man, was always ready to set off, regardless of comfort or convenience, if he believed that there was something worth seeing at the other end.
And this quality of enthusiasm that he possessed in so wonderful a degree was apparent in his very fine collection of paintings and sculptures, a collection that is known only to a few, since he never made use of it to further his own position or to gain renown for himself.
When first I knew him, I was an unknown sculptor. At that time there were very few, less than half a dozen, collectors of modern sculpture in this country. Charles Rutherston, like Peter Gregory, a Bradford man, introduced us, for he had imparted his own enthusiasm for sculpture to Gregory. He immediately joined that very small group of men who were prepared to encourage modern sculpture. The debt that I owe him is enormous. It is thanks to Peter Gregory and a very few others of his sort that young sculptors in this country can nowadays anticipate that their work may be of interest of their compatriots.
Nor was his interest in the work of artists limited to his own or my generation. That splendid vitality and ability to perceive beauty never deserted him. To the end of his life he was able to show enthusiasm and understanding for painters and sculptors even half a century younger than himself. He was always open to new ideas and directions. His heart remained young, and he was at all times ready to help those whose work he admired or who, he felt, needed the various forms of help that he could give. He gave his help quietly, unobtrusively, and for the right reasons.
He died so far away. I and other of his friends are arranging that a memorial service be held for him, probably in about three weeks’ time. We are also arranging that an exhibition of his collection be held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts for which he did so much. This collection alone shows the breadth of understanding and the qualities of perception of a man who was to me, as to so many others, a deeply loved friend.