Turner, grave, ignored, almshouse, gallery, Prize, ignore
The Turner (in his grave) Prize. - ArtLyst Article image

The Turner (in his grave) Prize.

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When JMW Turner died in 1851, he bequeathed over 300 paintings and 30,000 sketches to the nation, with the proviso that they should all be housed in ONE special building.

Thanks to his family and other vested interests, his wishes were totally ignored and the collection, which is worth at least £1bn, was split between the Tate and the National Gallery. The building of the Tate was financed by the eponymous, Sir Henry Tate, who made a huge fortune as a sugar refiner.  He was derided for his sugary taste in art. Turner would have squirmed.

In his will, Turner also gave explicit instructions, together with detailed drawings "for the foundation of an almshouse for elderly artists in the South London suburb of Twickenham."

That too was ignored.

However, in memory of one of the world’s greatest artists, we have the Turner Prize.

Now that really should be ignored.

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