Leading independent charity The Art Fund
has chosen Falmouth Art Gallery to house an important collection of master prints and works on paper bequeathed by Mrs Naomi G. Weaver, a passionate art collector and Art Fund patron. The group of 37 works by some of the leading artists of the 20th century, including Edvard Munch, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Henry Moore, Eduardo Chillida, Barry Flanagan, and Barbara Rae.
Amongst the many highlights in the collection is an etching by the great French Impressionist artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919). The etching depicts one of the leading female impressionists Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) who is best known for The Cradle, 1872. Artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944), who created the world famous Scream, is also represented, by an important etching of a Norwegian landscape.
Also included are works by Prunella Clough (1919-1999) who is regarded as one of the most significant British painters and print makers of the post-war period. In 2007 Tate Britain staged a major retrospective of her work.
Andrew Macdonald, Deputy Director of The Art Fund, said; This is a really impressive collection, put together by someone who not only loved art but believed in its power to transform peoples lives. Naomi Weaver had been a Patron member of The Art Fund for many years and I am delighted that she should have chosen The Art Fund as a conduit for her bequest. It will add substantially to Falmouths extensive collection of prints, complementing the Hugh Stoneman Archive, given to Falmouth Art Gallery last year via The Art Fund.
Commented the Director of Falmouth Art Gallery, Brian Stewart: "We are most grateful to The Art Fund for choosing to place this selection of works collected by Naomi Weaver at the gallery. It will provide an amazing resource for future generations. We are planning to produce a full colour catalogue of the collection and make it available online at www.falmouthartgallery.com "
Falmouth boasts one of the most important master print collections outside of London featuring woodcuts, engravings, lithographs and screen prints by artists such as Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), Rembrandt (1606-1669), Claude Lorrain (1600-1682), Adriaen van Ostade (1610-1685), Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) through to Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Francis Bacon (1909-1992), Merlyn Evans (1910-1973), Andy Warhol (1931-1987), Patrick Caulfield (1936-2005) and Sir Peter Blake.
The gallery also houses The Art Fund Hugh Stoneman Archive. Hugh Stoneman (1947-2005) was one of the worlds most important master printers during the second half of the 20th century. The 99 Stoneman prints provide a unique opportunity for scholars, students, artists and printmakers to study a representative selection of a master printmakers career.
Several prints from the collection will be on display in June, in time for two special visits from members of The Art Fund.
The Naomi G Weaver Bequest.
Mrs. Naomi Weaver was a passionate and lifelong supporter of the arts.
As a collector, she focused mainly on Contemporary British Art and on 12th to 17th Century Himalayan Art. Her collections were constantly evolving, and she was keen to engage with new artists and challenging art. She would typically research at length before buying, but once she had committed to an artist she would continue to follow their career and develop her collection of their work. She would see as much of the work as she could, visiting artists studios and travelling extensively to their shows and openings.
Naomi Weaver was also a committed believer in making art available to the public, and was a consistent contributor to The Art Fund. It was her specific wish that her works on paper be given to The Art Fund as a way of making them more broadly available for exhibition, for scholarship, but above all for enjoyment.
It was Mrs Weavers hope that her bequest could provide a means by which the enthusiasm for art which enlivened her life might provide the spark to enrich the lives of others. The entire collection bequeathed to The Art Fund for distribution to museums and galleries at The Art Funds discretion comprises 54 works of art. In addition to the works on paper collection (which includes lithographs and etchings by some of the most influential artists of the 20th century), The Art Fund also received from the estate a number of 18th/19th century Himalayan Buddhist thangka fabric paintings , facsimiles of medieval manuscripts and bronze sculpture.