John Green Obituary

 

We are very sad to announce that John Green, elder brother of Richard Green, passed away on 15 March. John and Richard Green began their art dealing careers in the early 1950s working for their father James Green, before setting up in business together in Jermyn Street, specializing in Old Master and British paintings. In the mid-1960s John left the art world for the property business, developing apartments in Belgravia and working with the Hanson Trust in the 1980s. In addition, in 1975, with his wife Jacqueline, he set up the first Hermès fashion shop in Bond Street.

In 1990 John rejoined the family art business, which had burgeoned into the very successful Richard Green Galleries, inaugurating the Old Master gallery at 33 New Bond Street with Richard’s son Jonathan. John’s expertise in property matters was invaluable in the refurbishment of 147 New Bond Street, which the firm took over in 2000, and in the development of 33 New Bond Street in 2011. The acquisition of the 33 New Bond Street freehold allowed Richard Green to build a five-storey gallery on the site for the display of twentieth century paintings and sculpture. John remained very active in the art world, where his charm and good humour made him a great favourite with the connoisseurs and museum professionals whom he assisted in building their collections. He was also a stalwart supporter of the Society of London Art Dealers and of the prestige of Bond Street as a centre of London’s art market. His closest professional relationship, of course, was with his brother Richard, with whom he had started out in business when they were both teenagers. John reflected recently how privileged he had been to ‘enjoy an immensely rewarding twenty-five years with Richard Green Galleries’.

John’s joie de vivre, his elegance, his discerning enjoyment of food, wine and travel, his fund of jokes and snatches of song, made him a delight to everyone he encountered. He will be greatly missed by Jacqueline, his wife of 52 years, his four children and six grandchildren, as well as Richard, his sister Penny Marks and the younger Green family members with whom he worked so closely, and his colleagues and friends in the wider art world.