LONDON.- The National Gallery
announced that a transformational gift of £1 million has been made by American industrialist and philanthropist Mark Pigott OBE towards the refurbishment of the National Gallerys Education Centre and to improve its teaching facilities.
Dr Nicholas Penny, National Gallery Director, said: Education and public engagement have always been central to the Gallerys mission. We have a long tradition of offering people opportunities to discover, explore and learn about the collection, whatever their age or level of understanding.
"Our education programme is one of the largest in Europe, with over 80,000 school pupils on facilitated visits per year, 3,300 teachers on courses and 80,300 adults participating in our talks and tours. We are delighted to announce the renaming of the Education Centre as the Pigott Education Centre and would like to thank Mr Pigott for this generous gift.
The donation will assist the National Gallery to build on its aim of providing a positive and welcoming experience for schools and general visitors, as well as inspiring learning throughout the environment.
Mr Pigott is chairman and chief executive officer of PACCAR Inc, a Fortune 150 global technology company based in Bellevue, Washington. The Pigott family and PACCAR have generously supported UK organisations such as Cancer Research UK, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the British Library, the Palace of Westminster, the National Theatre and St. Pauls Cathedral.
Mr Pigott shared: I believe that reinforcing the link between learning and the arts provides a welcoming bridge that benefits our communities. It is encouraging that the National Gallery will be able to enrich the breadth of educational programming being provided to patrons of all ages.
"The establishment of the Pigott Education Centre will ensure the National Gallery remains a leader in arts education in the UK and in the broader art world.
The gift will contribute towards the operation of the Education Centre and enhances the National Gallerys outstanding reputation as a leader in the arts education field. The Gallery is committed to providing a welcoming environment to promote learning, engagement, creativity and interaction for all its visitors.
Immediate refurbishment plans involve renovating the space and enhancing the Centre through the installation of new furniture, interactive technology and display facilities, which will heighten the visitor experience in the National Gallery.