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Edgar Humann: ex-French Consul who supported the arts

Edgar Humann, a Bermuda resident, former French Consul and philanthropist who was the chairman of his family foundation that supported the arts and other charitable endeavours, died on Sunday afternoon. He was 77.

Gary Phillips, chairman of the Bermuda National Gallery — which in November 2013 officially named its mezzanine the Humann Gallery in recognition of the long support the arts organisation had received from the Christian Humann Foundation — had described the foundation and Mr Humann's support of Bermuda organisations during an event to recognise their contributions.

He quoted Suzanne Chazin: “Generosity is not giving what you have, but what someone needs,” and added: “This maxim is inherent in the manner in which Mr Edgar Humann and the Christian Humann Foundation has quietly and effectively managed to direct its programme of assisting individuals and organisations in the arts, education and science.”

He said the Humann family had been connected with Bermuda since before the Second World War.

“It was the vision of Christian Humann that led to the creation of the eponymous foundation which was the first private foundation to be created under Bermuda law.”

Mr Humann also played a diplomatic role during his residence here. Bermuda's French Consul Nicole Haziza said: “Edgar Humann, as French Consul of Bermuda for ten years from 1997 to 2007 made a significant difference in the lives of many French citizens.

“In 2007, in recognition of his continuous dedication and generosity, the French Government awarded Edgar Humann the Insignia of Chevalier in the Order of the Legion of Honor.

“Through the Christian Humann Foundation, Edgar Humann alongside his spouse Faith Humann have significantly contributed to charities in Bermuda that impact the lives of many Bermudians for the better.

“We would like to offer our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to Faith and the Humann family.”

Mr Phillips explained the Foundation was formed to support the arts, as well as education and science-related initiatives and enterprises.

He said it was clear that Christian Humann, for whom the Foundation is named and who had been a financier, had one overriding passion - “ ... to be an art collector and assemble an impressive and unrivalled collection of art and artefacts of the sub continent of India as well as a substantial collection of European art.”

He explained: “This interest in art and collecting was in large measure ‘inherited' from his mother's family whose fortune was lost — one might even say ‘confiscated' during the Second World War.

“Following Christian's death and in compliance with his wishes, it was the proceeds from the sale of this rather significant collection that the family was able to give effect to his dream and establish in 1985 the giving policy which guides the Foundation to this day.

“Parts of this collection can now be found in major art institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Frick Gallery in the same city.”

The Foundation also gave significant financial support to The Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, the Bermuda National Gallery, the Bermuda Festival for the Performing Arts, the Centre for Talented Youth (CTY), The Alliance Francaise, The Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) and the Reading Clinic and others.

Mr Humann leaves his wife Faith, and sons Francis and Christian.

Philanthropist: Edgar Humann

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Published April 01, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated April 01, 2015 at 3:32 am)

Edgar Humann: ex-French Consul who supported the arts

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