Worcester man’s donation to allow new art gallery to be developed - The Worcester Observer

Worcester man’s donation to allow new art gallery to be developed

Worcester Editorial 7th Mar, 2024   0

AN AMERICAN philanthropist who grew up in Worcester has made a huge donation to enable a new art gallery to be developed.

The cash has been donated by Martin Cook to the Worcestershire Heritage, Art and Museums charity, which will go towards developing the first-floor galleries at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum.

Martin’s donation will enable a new gallery to be developed which will display the city’s collections of fine and decorative art.

This gallery will include Worcester’s nationally significant gloving collection, one of the largest of its type in the world.

Martin’s money will also fund an internship programme for young people entering the museum profession and establish a national art prize competition.




The charity will also use cash donated in 2022 by Prof Rolf Olsen, who also set up the charity.

The new galleries will highlight Worcestershire as a place of inspiration for artists.


They will display the works of local artists including John Singer Sargent, Paul Nash and Laura Knight.

There are also plans to celebrate Worcester’s strength as a centre for design education in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when it supported the city’s international porcelain and glove industries.

Martin, who now lives in the United States, said he wishes to support the cultural heart of the city where he grew up and spent his formative years.

He added: “I’m keen to play a part in Worcester’s cultural development and Professor Olsen’s ambitions struck a chord with me.

“My wish is to support the development of the Art Gallery & Museum, celebrate the rich heritage of the city I grew up in and build on Professor Olsen’s legacy. I encourage others to come forward to help put Worcester on the map.”

Caroline Naisbitt, chair of the Worcestershire Heritage, Art & Museums charity, added: “We are extremely grateful to Martin for his very generous donation.

“This is precisely what Rolf had hoped for, that his donation would encourage others to come forward to support the Art Gallery and its collections, and in doing so reflect the aims of the charity of promoting opportunities for education and inclusion.”

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