Art Fund supporter receives philanthropy award
- 18 November 2011
Jonathan Ruffer, the benefactor of the Art Fund’s curatorial grants programme, has been awarded the Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy…
Jonathan Ruffer, the benefactor of the Art Fund’s curatorial grants programme, has been awarded the Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy. The award follows a £15m donation by Ruffer to secure a key group of Zurbaran paintings for public display at Auckland Castle.
A collector of 17th-century religious painting, fund manager Jonathan Ruffer paid £15m to the Church of England for a group of paintings by Zurbaran, only to gift them back to the nation. By doing so, he guaranteed that the works would remain on public display at Auckland Castle, protecting them from the threat of being sold on the open market.
A separate donation allowed the Art Fund to establish its £250,000 Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Grants Programme, which will support curators in Britain over the next five years. Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said Ruffer’s philanthropy was ‘almost breathtaking’.
‘It’s really the first time that I’ve seen someone quite devotedly and intricately linking support for the arts with some wider social purpose,’ said Deuchar. ‘It’s very easy to write off the arts as a luxury, but Jonathan is thinking about what lies beyond it.’
The Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy
Established in 2008, the Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy recognizes individuals and couples who epitomize the philanthropic spirit through inspiring support of the arts. Previous recipients have included Anthony d’Offay, who assembled the ARTIST ROOMS collection, and the late Lord Wolfson, whose Wolfson Foundation has supported the Art Fund since 1977.
The Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Grants Programme
Established through the auspices of Jonathan Ruffer and Anthony Mould, the Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Grants Programme will make £50,000 a year available to curators for five years. Grants will be awarded to nurture curatorial skills and support serious research, providing much-needed financial support to a sector that has struggled with a lack of funding.