The Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Collection was the life-long project of Ruth Borchard (1910- 2000). In 1938, as Jewish refugees, Ruth and her family fled from Germany to Reigate, Surrey. Ruth’s interest in modern painting began at the age of 13.” In an unpublished essay from around 1968, Ruth asked, ‘Why did I begin collecting self-portraits?’ it continued ‘… one day… mounting the stairs in our house, I was struck by the idea that introspection in painting meant: self-portraits. I vividly remember the moment, even the step, where I suddenly saw our landing crowded with paintings, all sizes, types, styles, media. And this is exactly what came to pass… I began to visit the shows of the art schools, the Young Contemporaries [an annual show in London of nationwide student’s art] and the small galleries… Carefully I refrained from reading art reviews so as to keep my vision unbiased…’ Her collection, with its eclectic range of works, helps to delineate an entire period of British art. The artists in the Collection reflect the diversity of postwar British society at large and many of the artists achieved critical success.