The £300,000 donation, if approved by Worcester City Council, will be used to purchase new artworks as well as improve the exhibition capabilities of the art gallery and museum.
Worcester Art gallery and Museum is located in a Victorian building in the city centre which opened in 1896 and the donation would support current plans to expand the building’s gallery space and improve its visitor facilities. These plans are part of Worcester’s Town Investment Plan, which recently secured £19.6m from the Government.
Raise the profile
Wishing to remain anonymous, the donor hopes to raise the profile of the art gallery and museum by helping to purchase artworks that will attract national and international attention to enhance the cultural life of Worcester, in turn helping to bring more tourists to the city.
“This donation, if confirmed, will provide a timely opportunity for a significant development of Worcester Art Gallery and Museum and its internal and display areas, to add to its collection and to encourage other galleries to lend work from their collection,” the donor said.
“It would also provide a focus to attract other public contributions, both in terms of financial donations and suitable works of art, providing an additional draw to the public and tourists, while also helping to promote the economic and cultural status of Worcester.”
Donation to attract further contributions
Plans are also underway to establish a new charity to support fundraising for the city and county museums, and the donation would be used as the basis for attracting further contributions.
Leader of the City Council, Marc Bayliss, said: “This is an extremely generous donation and I hope it can provide a significant legacy to both Worcester Art Gallery and our city’s culture. On behalf of Worcester, I would like to thank the donor for this remarkable act of philanthropy.”
The art gallery and museum is currently showing two exhibitions, Worcester Life Stories showcasing photographs alongside the memories of older adults, in particular those living with dementia in the local area, and Titanic: Honour & Glory.
Worcester City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee will consider the offer of the donation at its meeting on 7 September.
About the author – Adrian Murphy
Adrian is the Editor of MuseumNext and has 20 years’ experience as a journalist, half of which has been writing for the cultural sector.