John Forrest Hayward, Papers

Object Title

John Forrest Hayward, Papers

John Forrest Hayward, Papers






5 archives boxes, 6 small archive boxes

Access Conditions

Open access

Administrative / Biographical History

John Forrest Hayward was born in 1916, the son of an army musician who taught the oboe at the Royal Military School of Music. Educated at St Paul's and Magdalen College, Oxford, he graduated in history in 1937. Later he joined Courtauld's economic research department, maintaining and developing his interest in the arts through collecting arms and armour. He spent a mainly cloak and dagger war with the Special Operations Executive, fitting out agents to be parachuted behind the enemy lines with false documents and kit. This part of his working life always seemed slightly unbelievable to those who only knew the eminent art historian of later years and he did not himself talk about it very much. For services to the Belgian resistance at this time he was appointed to the Order of Leopold II. Hayward's true career started in 1945 when he joined the Monuments and Fine Arts Office in Austria, taking over responsibility for the care and restoration of historic buildings and works of art in the province of Carinthia. The vast collection of rare books, looted by the Nazis from Jewish libraries all over occupied Europe and housed in the monastery of Tanzenberg, came under his control, involving him in the preparation of an exhibition of fine bindings before their return to their rightful owners. In 1947, Hayward was appointed to the Control Commission in Vienna. During the 2 years he spent there he was able to acquire a thorough knowledge of the famous Imperial Armoury and to begin a study of Du Paquier porcelain. He was also the first to become prominent amongst the small group of English scholars who, in the 1950s, began to revolutionize the study of arms and armour in this country. His earliest important publications in this field were on English 17th and 18th century firearms. It was in 1949 that the opportunity arose for the museum career which he had always desired. His appointment to the Metalwork Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum allowed him to widen his field of studies to include gold and silver plate, jewellery and bronze. The many museum publications he produced at this time covered cutlery, watches and wrought ironwork as well as arms and armour and he was responsible for numerous important acquisitions in these fields. It was, however, his growing international reputation as a scholar of arms and armour which led, among other things, to invitations to reorganize the Ameria Reale, Turin and the armoury at the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples. Transferring to the Department of Furniture and Woodwork at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1956, he soon became Deputy Keeper and contributed a series of museum publications on the furniture collection. He continued, however, to produce numerous articles on metalwork and the first of many visits to the United States was undertaken in order to catalogue the CO von Kienbusch collection of armour which has since been donated to the Philadelphia museum. Two books, 'Huguenot Silver in England 1688-1727' and 'The Art of the Gun maker (Vols I and II) appeared in 1959 and 1962/3. By moving to Sotheby's in 1965, Hayward was able to exercise the full breadth of his knowledge. His new role, however, in no way interrupted his scholarly work and the flow of learned articles continued, culminating in the monumental and magnificent 'Virtuoso Goldsmiths and the Triumph of Mannerism 1540-1620'. This, and 'The Art of the Gun maker are the works for which he will be best remembered and their publication was rewarded by a D Litt from his old university.