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Award for Major Donor to The Hepworth Wakefield

17 Jun 2017

Tim Sayer will be appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Art and Philanthropy in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2017.

The Hepworth Wakefield is delighted to announce that Tim Sayer will be appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Art and Philanthropy in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2017.

The honour recognises Tim’s major contribution to the arts at The Hepworth Wakefield. A retired BBC Radio 4 newswriter, Tim has been collecting art for over 50 years and in 2016 bequeathed his entire collection of more than 400 works, and his house in north London, to the Wakefield Permanent Art Collection, held at The Hepworth. This embodied one of the most significant gifts to Wakefield by a private collector.

Sir Nicholas Serota described the gift as ‘one of the most significant and generous donations to a regional gallery in the UK’ and reflected on ‘the discriminating eye of a person of modest means, whose passion for art took precedence over holidays.’

The collection consists of works by some of the world’s greatest artists, including Alexander Calder, Anthony Caro, Sonia Delaunay, Naum Gabo, David Hockney, Sol LeWitt, Henry Moore, Paul Nash and Bridget Riley. Tim was motivated to leave his collection following a visit he and his wife made to the Yorkshire gallery in 2015 for the opening of the exhibition Caro in Yorkshire.

Last year the exhibition ‘The Tim Sayer Bequest: A Private Collection Revealed’ at the Hepworth Wakefield celebrated the gift.

This summer, Tim is co-curating an exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield that will explore the connections between works from his own collection and those in the Wakefield Permanent Art Collection. Around 25 works will be on display including paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture. The show will also include a small number of loan works. ‘The Collector Curates’ will open 4 August 2017.

The honour also occurs at an important time for The Hepworth Wakefield, which has been nominated as one of five finalists for the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017, the winner of which will be announced on 5 July 2017.

Tim Sayer said: ‘My wife Annemarie and l decided to give our collection to The Hepworth Wakefield less than two years ago. Since then, we have become increasingly involved with the gallery and have enjoyed every moment of it. I would like to share this honour with everyone at The Hepworth and the public who have been such great supporters. We look forward to working with the gallery for many more years.’

Simon Wallis OBE, Director of The Hepworth, said: ‘Tim’s gift is an important act of philanthropic generosity that will benefit visitors to the gallery for generations to come. I’m delighted that the success of The Hepworth inspired him and his wife Annemarie to support us in such a significant way, allowing a broad public to share in their passion for art. I know this gift will encourage other philanthropists to see The Hepworth as a gallery that works ambitiously to create maximum public benefit from the support it receives.’


Image: Tim Sayer with work from The Collector Curates (4 August 2017 – 8 January 2018). Photo: Jenny Briggs

Tim Sayer recently gave an initial 52 works to The Hepworth Wakefield through the Art Fund as a lifetime gift. The collection will be drawn on for a number of upcoming exhibitions and displays, including a Henry Moore print that is already on display in an exhibition exploring the artist’s connection with Yorkshire.