A new exhibition celebrating the Tim Sayer Bequest to the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield, goes on display on 30 April. It brings together approximately 100 works drawn from Tim Sayer’s personal collection, which he has passionately built up over the last five decades. The collection, one of the most significant gifts to Wakefield by a private collector includes works by artists such as Alexander Calder, Prunella Clough, Sonia Delaunay, Naum Gabo, David Hockney, Paul Nash, Gerhard Richter and Bridget Riley. The display of works will make reference to the domestic context of the collection, which fills almost every crevice of Sayer’s North London home.
Tim Sayer has been a colourful fixture on the London art scene for over 50 years, spending much of his working life at the BBC, writing the radio news. Over this golden era, Mr Sayer built up strong relationships with many of the capital’s leading galleries and art dealers, purchasing from the perspective and vision of a domestic collector with a discerning eye. His home, shared with wife Annmarie Norton – a former ballet dancer, is a reflection of the individual as collector and can only be compared to the very personal collection of Herbert and Dorothy Vogel, the American civil servants who were equally inspired to compile such an intimate group of works.
Sir Nicolas Serota has championed the collection by stating, “The Tim Sayer Bequest is one of the most significant and generous donations to a regional gallery in the UK. The collection reflects the discriminating eye of a person of modest means, whose passion for art ‘took precedence over holidays’. The Hepworth Wakefield, with its fine sequence of galleries, will be enormously enriched by a bequest that will extend its collections to the present day and introduce a personal note to an outstanding public collection. At times like these, with public funding cutbacks, arts and heritage organisations need all the private help they can get. It would be wonderful if Tim Sayer’s example encouraged other collectors to be as generous. I hope that we can make private giving to the arts and other charities an everyday part of our social and cultural life.”
Photo: Paul Carter Robinson © artlyst 2016