The Tomkins Collection is a website of the arts of pre-modern cultures. The Collection focuses on objects that represent ancestors, guardians and idols, abstract or surreal. Information about the objects in this private collection has been made available to encourage others to share their collections online in an accessible format. If you have comments or questions about the content of this site, use the Contact link below.
John Tomkins (born 1910; Leipzig, Germany) was my granduncle. Uncle Julius (as I called him) followed in the family footsteps and chose the printing trade as his field. After the War, he established his business in London.
Unlike my grandfather, Uncle Juliusí interest in printing was more as art than commerce. In 1971, his business (Graphis Press Ltd.) designed and printed a catalogue, Hunstein Korowori, by Philip Goldman for Gallery 43, London. Some years later, Uncle Julius showed me this catalogue of sculpture from the Sepik Hills, New Guinea. That was my first experience looking at tribal art. While I was not immediately smitten, by 1992 my interest further developed and I began collecting.
Unfortunately, Uncle Julius passed on in 2000, not in time to see this collection. But, as he inspired me, may this website inspire others.