Lady Gilbert gives exquisite silverware to Temple Newsam House through American Friends of The Art Fund

  • 23 September 2009

Historic Temple Newsam House, part of Leeds Museums and Galleries, has recently acquired part of a major gift presented through the American Friends of The Art Fund by the widow of Sir Arthur Gilbert, founder of the Gilbert Collection, an outstanding collection of decorative arts currently housed in London's V&A.

Marjorie, Lady Gilbert gave two items of silverware to the museum: a silver-gilt cup by Foglino (c. 1842) and a Ming ewer with silver mounts decorated in niello (c. 1600).

Skipton-born Lady Gilbert now lives in America, but chose to allocate her gift through the American Friends of The Art Fund to a museum in her native West Yorkshire. Temple Newsam House, near Leeds, has a fine silverware collection and is therefore an ideal location for these exquisite pieces.

Lady Gilbert’s gift is the first donation in kind to be made through the American Friends of The Art Fund, an organisation through which US tax payers are able to support UK based independent charity The Art Fund in a tax-efficient manner.

Andrew Macdonald, Acting Director of The Art Fund, said: "This gift marks a new departure for The Art Fund and we hope it will pave the way for future gifts from overseas. Thanks to Lady Gilbert’s generosity, these two wonderful objects will be admired within the beautiful setting of Temple Newsam House for years to come."

James Lomax, Curator, Temple Newsam House, said: 'We are delighted with Lady Gilbert's gift. These splendid works of art provide a rich new dimension to the collections at Temple Newsam. There is nothing quite like them among our decorative art holdings and we are confident that visitors will enjoy and learn from them."

Leeds City Council Executive Member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said: "We are delighted to accept the very generous donation of these two wonderful pieces of silverware and we are very grateful to Lady Gilbert and The Art Fund for their fantastic support. They will fit in perfectly with the excellent silverware collection at Temple Newsam House and we look forward to seeing them on display."

The local MP for Leeds East, George Mudie, said: "I am thrilled that Temple Newsam House has taken ownership of these two beautiful objects and I’d like to pay tribute to the generosity of Lady Gilbert, and to the American Friends of The Art Fund for helping this to happen. The pieces will be a wonderful addition to Temple Newsam House’s fine silverware collection."

Lady Gilbert has also donated a pair of Dutch silver gilt and filigree Torah finials (c. 1780) and a pair of silver Dordrecht cups and covers (1592) to the Victoria and Albert Museum, also through the American Friends of The Art Fund.

Since 1930, Temple Newsam House has received £527,225 worth of monetary grants from The Art Fund towards the acquisition of 103 objects, including a wide array of paintings, furniture, ceramics and silverware. The museum has also received an additional 80 objects as gifts or bequests through The Art Fund.

Ends

For more information contact Marina Bradbury at The Art Fund press office on mbradbury@artfund.org, 020 7225 4888.

Notes to Editors

· The Art Fund is the UK’s leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collections; campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art. It is entirely funded from public donations and has 80,000 members. Since 1903 the charity has helped museums and galleries all over the UK secure 860,000 works of art for their collections. The Art Fund also acts as a conduit for lifetime gifts and bequests of works of art to UK museums and galleries, and since 1903 more than 60,500 objects have entered public collections through this route. For more information contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit www.artfund.org . The Art Fund is a Registered Charity No. 209174

· Marjorie, Lady Gilbert (nee Haworth) married Sir Arthur Gilbert in 1997. Arthur and his first wife, Rosalinde, formed over four decades a pre-eminent collection of English and Continental gold and silver, gold snuff-boxes, Italian micro-mosaics, pietre dure from Florence and Rome and enamel portrait miniatures which was given to the nation in 1996 (an act of generosity for which Sir Arthur was awarded his Knighthood). The works donated to Temple Newsam House and the V&A by Lady Gilbert were acquired by her and her late husband in more recent years. Lady Gilbert currently lives in Los Angeles.