Edward Perry Warren|
(1860 - 1936) U.S.A.
Art connoisseur, poet
Born in Waltham, Massachusetts, Edward (known as Ned) was the third son of Samuel Denis Warren of Massachusetts who founded the Cumberland Paper Mills at Maine. From an early age Edward's interest was antiquities - particularly Grecian - and, like his father and mother, he became a great collector of pictures, fine arts and china.
Edward graduated from Harvard and then moved to an Oxford that was more tolerant of his homosexuality.
Edward had little interest in the family business and, following his father's death in 1888 (at which time he was in England) he was happy to leave those affairs in the hands of a trust so that he was free to follow his own pursuits of travel and collecting.
Edward, so rumour had it among the people of Lewes at the turn of the century, was a collector of fine art and young men. He was one of the most extraordinary figures in the world of art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
He purchased Lewes House, "a monkish establishment where women were not welcomed". There he long lived with his companion, John Marshall. They called each other "Puppy," dressed alike and even looked remarkably alike.
But John Marshall "took the veil" in 1907 and (a cruel blow this) married Edward's cousin. Edward was left in a frenzy of agitation and never put quite the same energy into collecting art again. A book of Edward's poems published under a pseudonym two years later contains many love poems addressed to Marshall and to his successor in Edward's affections, a Harry Thomas.
Under the pen name of Arthur Lyon Raile, Warren wrote several books on the subject of gay love, including Itamos (1903), and The Defence of Uranian Love (1928-30).
Edward strove to create an informal "brotherhood of men" in his home devoted to the Hellenic ideal.
The pieces he and his lover of 44 years, the archaeologist John Marshall, collected during their tours of Italy and Greece later formed the bases of the classical collections of the Boston Museum, where his brother chaired the board of trustees, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
In 1900 by Edward commissioned The Kiss to Rodin, and he particularly specified that the male genitals should be visible and pronounced.
Perhaps disappointed that the very heterosexual Rodin had modelled a vague sausage and not the distinct dick required, Warren offered the scultpure as a loan to the Town of Lewes but such a fleshy monument was not long considered suitable for public display and it stood in Warren's coach house until his death in 1928.
Edward also bought a Roman silver cup dated the 1st century, found in Palestine with coins that were probably buried for safe keeping, with explicit relief decoration depicting homosexuality - one side shows a man making love to a youth, the other a youth making love to a boy.
The wonderful vessel, now known as the "Warren cup", now belonggs to The British Museum.