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Annual Report of the Fitzwilliam Museum for the period January 1999 to July 2000

The FITZWILLIAM MUSEUM SYNDICATE beg leave to present their one hundred and fifty-first Annual Report to the Council.

This Report covers the period from January 1999 to July 2000; in the past, the Syndicate have reported at the end of each calendar year but propose to report from now onwards to conform with the University's academic and financial year which ends on 31 July.

We find it difficult to identify in the history of the Museum a comparable period in which there have been so many important developments. In January 1999 we learned of the extraordinary generosity of the late Paul Mellon KBE (CLA), whose bequests to Cambridge were headed by $8m for the Museum. After consulting his Executors, we determined to add the greater part of his benefaction to the Museum's endowment funds but to reserve £1m towards the cost of the Courtyard Development. In March 2000 our ambitions for that scheme received all-important encouragement from the Heritage Lottery Fund by means of a development grant of £302,000. While that in itself does not commit the Fund to further support, it was awarded on the assumption that the Museum would qualify in due course, subject to satisfactory plans and adequate partnership funding, for a major implementation grant.

There were 402,878 visitors to the Museum during the period under review. Hours of opening to the public were Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 2.15 to 5 p.m. Exceptionally, in May 2000, to coincide with a month-long celebration of museums nation-wide, the Museum opened on four consecutive Sundays at 11 a.m. Limited though the exercise was, its success indicated the importance of responding to the growing demand for flexibility in opening hours linked to intellectually stimulating activities to attract a broad cross-section of the community during leisure time.


Paul Woudhuysen took early retirement in July 1999 from the post of Keeper of Manuscripts and Printed Books which he had held for twenty-five years. Before doing so, he drew attention to the longstanding problems of his department, which are compounded by the responsibility it bears for the Museum's Reference Library. The Syndicate responded by setting up a sub-committee to consider future arrangements. In the interim, Professor James Marrow of Princeton University offered his services as the Honorary Acting Keeper of Manuscripts and Printed Books for the academical year 1999-2000 and Craig Hartley, Senior Assistant Keeper (Prints), took on the assignment as Reference Librarian for the same period. We are indebted to both of them for their outstanding contributions during a period of critical transition.

Penelope Wilson resigned her post as Assistant Keeper (Antiquities) in September 1999 in order to take up a lectureship at the University of Durham and in the following spring, the Keeper, Eleni Vassilika, announced that she planned to accept the Directorship of the Roemer-Pelizeus Museum in Hildesheim. She left the Museum at the end of May 2000 with our thanks for the work she had done to raise the profile of the department intellectually by research and teaching and to upgrade the galleries in which the Museum's antiquities are displayed. We wish her every success in her new assignment.

The term of Koray Konuk as Assistant Keeper (Coins and Medals) ended in September 1999, after which he took up a post with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Bordeaux. Michael Matzke, a Research Associate in the same department, competed successfully for the vacant post which he took up on 1 July 2000.


A glance at the financial summary indicates that once again, at 52.5%, non-formula funding constituted the largest single stream of income towards the Museum's operating costs. Two years ago, the Higher Education Funding Council for England announced that it planned to transfer responsibility for allocating non-formula funding for university museums and galleries to the Arts and Humanities Research Board, which has been charged with the introduction of a successor scheme to take effect from 2001-02. We share the confidence of the sector as a whole in the ability of the Board to establish a new system for the distribution and monitoring of special funding, although we recognize that, as applicants, we will face increased competition for finite resources. We are not alone in voicing the need for a substantial increase in the amount of money which the government makes available for museums such as ours which fulfil regional and national roles beyond their immediate, academic responsibilities.

Like all Departments of the University, the Museum was called upon to contribute to the Savings Exercise which was introduced in 1999-2000. For the first year, its target was met by savings from the vacant post of Keeper (Manuscripts and Printed Books). At the same time, the Museum endeavoured to attract new funds to carry out activities which are essential to its future as a registered Museum with collections of designated national importance. We were successful in our applications to the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport for support for documentation in the first and second years of the Designation Challenge Fund. With £53,366 initially and £111,405 in the current year, the Museum was able to employ research and computing assistants in the departments of Paintings, Drawings and Prints, and Coins and Medals, and part-time computer support.

In addition to £1m towards the purchase of the drawing of A Rider on a Rearing Horse, by Leonardo da Vinci, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) allocated £90,000 from its Museums and Galleries Access Fund to create an on-line collections information resource. The Department for Education and Employment provided £23,300 from its fund to develop Museums and Gallery Education for a joint project designed by the Education Departments of the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Kettle's Yard Gallery. Grants for exhibitions included £29,500 for Tempus from the HLF's Millennium Festival Fund, together with £5,000 from the City of Cambridge's Millennium Fund and a transport grant from Marshalls of Cambridge to enable schools to visit the exhibition.

For making possible the showing in Cambridge of the exhibition of Master Drawings from Portugal we are indebted to the Banco Espirito Santo, the Centro Cultural de Belem, and the Portuguese Arts Trust.

The support of the City of Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire District Council remains crucial for the maintenance of free access to the galleries for thirty-seven and a half hours each week. Cambridgeshire County Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council also contributed to the costs of our Education Department along with Trinity College, the Pye Foundation, the R. K. Charitable Trust, and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. A grant from the ADAPT Trust and Railtrack PLC, together with one from the South Eastern Museums Service (Eastern Region), enabled us to resurface the path from Trumpington Street to the Shop Entrance in order to improve wheelchair access. Support for the Department of Coins and Medals continued from the Arts and Humanities Research Board, the British Academy, the Charles Wallace India Trust, the Fondation Wiener-Anspach, Gonville and Caius College, the Leverhulme Trust, Manx National Heritage, and the Robinson Charitable Trust.

Conservation benefited from the continued generosity of the Isaac Newton Trust and the Monument Historic Building Fund. The Department of Manuscripts and Printed Books received two generous donations from the Daniel and Joanne S. Rose Fund. Contributions to the Ceramic Conservation Fund, launched in 1999, were made by A. M. McGreevy, Sir Harry Djanogly CBE, the John and Ruth Howard Charitable Trust, Anthony Rumsey International, and Mr and Mrs Graham Slater. The Department of Antiquities received a digital camera from Canon (UK) Ltd.

In response to this record number of contributions we wish to thank all of our supporters. Grants and donations are not only vital to the welfare of the Museum; they are important as indicators of the wide range of support it enjoys regionally, nationally, and internationally.


As further evidence of the regard in which the museum is held nationally, we received as allocations, following their acceptance by HM Treasury in lieu of capital taxes, the painting by Rubens of St Teresa of Avila, painted in all likelihood when the subject was beatified in 1614, and five sculptures by Barbara Hepworth. Three of the last, from The Family of Man, are to remain in situ on the marshes beyond the Maltings at Snape, and likewise The Four-square Walkthrough, which has been on loan for several years from the Hepworth Trust to Churchill College. In accepting responsibility for these off-site works, we welcome the wider regional role for the Museum which their allocation implies.

During the year the Syndicate afforded the highest priority for purchase to the drawing of A Rider on a Rearing Horse, by Leonardo da Vinci. It was offered under the favourable terms of a private treaty sale for £1,508,475, a fraction of its open market value. Even so, without the grant of £1m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £200,000 from the National Art Collections Fund, it would not have been possible to acquire it. After contributions were received from the Pilgrim Trust, the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum, and a number of private benefactors, the Syndicate were able to allocate just over £200,000 of income from acquisitions funds, spread over two financial years, to complete the purchase in October 1999.

There were other occasions when museum funds served to provide the necessary seed corn to attract outside support for acquisitions. At the time of writing the future of the Purchase Grant Fund, administered formerly for the Museums and Galleries Commission (MGC) by the Victoria and Albert Museum, remains in doubt. What is unquestionable is the crucial importance of the grants it has made to this Museum over the years, which have been invariably timely and generous. In the period under review contributions from the Purchase Grant Fund enabled the Museum to acquire an album of caricatures and other drawings by Edward Burne-Jones; a Charles II two-handled silver cup and cover attributed to the workshop of Christian van Vianen, London c. 1660, following the deferral of an export licence by the Reviewing Committee; an Anglo-Saxon coin of Æthelred II (978-1016) from the previously unidentified mint of Melton Mowbray; a collection of thirty-nine Japanese woodcuts of Kabuki actors by Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1864); an earthenware dish in compendiario style from Nazzaro and dated 1583; and a small sketch in oils of the Italian landscape near Capodimonte, as beautiful as it is rare, painted by the young Edgar Degas in 1856. This last grant was made after 1 April 2000 when the Fund was extended for three months pending a decision on its future by Re:source, the successor body to the MGC. We join other non-national museums in hoping that this vital provision will be extended and strengthened by the new Council for Museums, Libraries, and Archives.

The support of the National Art Collections Fund (NACF) was, once again, crucial in securing many of our most important acquisitions. In addition to their most generous contribution towards the Leonardo drawing, the NACF joined forces with the Purchase Grant Fund to enable us to acquire the Kunisada prints, the van Vianen silver cup, the compendiario dish, and the Degas oil referred to above. They also shared with the Museum's Fairhaven Fund the cost of purchasing Thomas Gainsborough's Landscape with herdsman and cows crossing a bridge, c. 1772, in oils. Two antiquities, a janiform Attic Greek red-figure kantharos-cup and a Romano-Egyptian bronze lamp in the form of Osiris-Attis, were likewise funded by the NACF and our own Greg Fund. Further grants from NACF also made possible the purchase of the silver double-Schauguldiner of the Emperor Maximilian I (1493-1519), with its splendid equestrian portrait of the Emperor in full-length horse armour, and three proofs of Picasso's linocut, Danaë. Finally it was through the NACF that its Chairman and our Honorary Keeper of Furniture, Sir Nicholas Goodison, made, together with Lady Goodison, yet another succession of spectacular gifts of glass, pottery, porcelain, and furniture produced by distinguished contemporary craftspersons.

At the beginning of both calendar years included in this Report, Sir Ivor and Lady Batchelor added significantly to their earlier gifts to the Museum. We are indebted to them for three pieces of eighteenth-century Staffordshire pottery, three unusual pieces of glass, two from Spain and one from England, also of the eighteenth century, and a group of drawings including works by Leighton, Mulready, Landseer, Strang, and Bone. In 1999, Mme Barrère, the widow of a former Professor of French, kindly gave a number of family pictures, one of which, Courbet's painting of La Charente at Port Bertaud, was featured shortly afterwards in Bryan Robertson's exhibition, Critic's Choice. Thanks to Christopher Jeeps we were able to acquire, through the Friends, a fine collection of 556 Chinese coins. To Alan Fortunoff we owe a group of nine drawings by Gerald Brockhurst (1890-1978), a generous sequel to his gifts of prints by that artist in 1996. From Margaret Robertson, Honorary Keeper of Historical Manuscripts, we were delighted to receive a large rat-tailed serving spoon in silver by William A. Phipps, hallmarked 1997, and from Tom Bendhem, in memory of his father, Henry Bendhem, three illustrated Books of Hours in Latin and French, from the fifteenth century and a framed leaf, probably Paris, c. 1410. Shortly before he died, Terence Hodgkinson made a number of gifts to the Museum among which were two drawings by the neo-classical artist, Felice Giani; to these a third was added in his memory by the former Keeper of Applied Arts, Jock Palmer.

From this selection of acquisitions made during the period under review it must be clear that the Museum has benefited from the generosity of both private individuals and public bodies. It is our pleasant duty to thank them all.


In the period covered by this Report, the Museum mounted twenty-one exhibitions. Recent Acquisitions of American Prints opened in the Adeane Gallery in February 1999, to mark the extraordinary accumulation of works by American printmakers which the Museum has been fortunate enough to acquire since Reba and Dave Williams became Honorary Keepers. Thanks to their efforts and the generosity which they have engendered on the Museum's behalf, we have added some 300 prints spanning more than 100 years and including works by many of the leading artists and printmakers of the twentieth century. This was followed in May-July by In The Public Eye: Treasures from Collections in the East of England, an exhibition which proved to be timely in its co-incidence with a lively public debate about works of art exempted from tax on the grounds of their heritage value. Visitors to the Museum enjoyed a unique opportunity to see a wide range of objects of the highest quality from private collections throughout the region. The exhibition was supported by Sotheby's in association with the Historic Houses Association (HHA) and was opened by the Earl of Leicester in his dual capacity as Chairman of HHA and Patron of the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum.

In the autumn, the Adeane Gallery was dedicated to Works of Art since 1950, an in-house selection made from the permanent collection and long-term loans, to demonstrate the Museum's commitment to collecting the best in the arts of the century which was drawing to a close. That was followed, in January, by Tempus: The Art of Time, an exhibition to celebrate the millennium which explored time in art and science, from the earliest civilizations to our own. Co-ordinated by Dr Julia Poole, Senior Assistant Keeper in the Department of Applied Arts, it drew upon a wide range of materials, from sundials to computers, and included a Cambridge dimension; from Newton to Hawking. Thanks to our sponsors, this exhibition was accompanied by programmes and events for schools, families, and special interest groups in addition to general visitors. The academical year ended in the Adeane Gallery with European Drawings from Portuguese Collections, an exhibition created by Nicholas Turner which brought together masterpieces of European draughtsmanship by such artists as Leonardo, Dürer, Goltzius, Poussin, Watteau, and Boucher. Drawn from both private and public collections in Portugal, it offered a rare opportunity to view a great number of unpublished drawings. Fortunately for us, but sadly in the wider context, ours was the only venue outside Portugal for this extraordinarily important exhibition.

While exhibitions in the Adeane Gallery are larger in scale than those mounted elsewhere in the Museum, they are complemented throughout the year by smaller exhibits chosen, in most cases, from the Museum's own collections. Of these the display of Ruskin's Turners in the Shiba Room was not only one of the most spectacular, featuring all twenty-five of the watercolours which Turner's most fervent champion, John Ruskin, gave to the Museum in 1861; it was also the most innovative. Although the donor stipulated that his gifts might not be lent, non-visitors were given the opportunity to view the entire exhibition on the Museum's website, in our first exercise in virtual reality, with textual commentaries by Jane Munro, the Senior Assistant Keeper who organized the exhibition. During 1999, the Shiba Room also featured prints and drawings by Picasso and Matisse, a selection of the Museum's Surimono prints, a display of the watercolours and drawings by Georg Dionysus Ehret: Flower Painter Extraordinary, and Apocalypse: Prints by Dürer and Duvet, an appropriately millenarian exercise to coincide with the dawn of 2000. The exhibition of Paul Nash: Watercolours and Prints provided an opportunity to see the Museum's entire holding of works on paper by the artist, including nine superb watercolours bequeathed by Lord Croft in 1998.

In the Charrington Print Room, Rembrandt and the Passion continued the series of exhibitions linked to the Museum's conservation programme of its outstanding collection of Rembrandt's prints. It was followed by an exhibition devoted to Gwen Raverat (1885-1957), who was described a little unfairly by Virginia Woolf as 'all Cambridge, all Darwin, solidity, integrity, force and sense'. It was organized originally for New Hall by Gilly Coutts, a volunteer who helped to catalogue the Museum's extensive collection of work by the artist. In the autumn, William Blake: Europe and America was featured, using the magnificent set of plates which Blake coloured for John Linnell in 1821 or later. As usual, this display of work by Blake proved to be immensely popular among students and general visitors. By way of contrast, the first exhibition of 2000 in the Charrington Print Room focused on Digital Images, subtitled from the Renaissance to the New Millennium. It complemented a series of exhibitions in Cambridge, at Kettle's Yard, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the Whipple Museum of the History of Science, all of which explored the digital in relation to art and science. It was left to Craig Hartley to demonstrate the historical importance of the dot for printmakers over the centuries, an occasion to inaugurate the gift of magnifying glasses in memory of Frank Crawley from his family. Finally the Museum was delighted to mount Walter Richard Sickert: Prints and Drawings to mark the landmark publication in June 2000 of Ruth Bromberg's catalogue raisonné of Sickert's prints.

Exhibitions in the Octagon ranged from a sesquicentenary tribute to James Whitbread Lee Glaisher, a distinguished mathematician and Fellow of Trinity College, whose collection of European pottery became one of the cornerstones of the Museum's Department of Applied Arts, to Andrew Crozier/Ian Tyson: Bookworks and Collaborations, an ingenious exhibition which focused on the work of the poet, Andrew Crozier, organized by Kevin Nolan to coincide with the tenth annual Cambridge Conference of Contemporary Poetry. In between, the Octagon housed Ancient Imitations, a fascinating exposé of reproductive techniques from antiquity to the present, arranged by Eleni Vassilika, and Coinage in Spain and its Colonies, one of series of exhibitions mounted periodically by the Department of Coins and Medals, in this case to chart over 2,000 years of Spanish coinage from the ancient Iberians onwards. In October we were pleased to mount Critic's Choice, a selection of favourites from the collection made by Bryan Robertson, whose influence as a critic of contemporary art was the subject of a major exhibition at Kettle's Yard. There the focus was upon the last half century; in the Octagon he delighted visitors by choosing medieval manuscripts as well as recent acquisitions. Finally the Octagon played host to Downing College's bicentenary with The Age of Wilkins: The Architecture of Improvement, which was devised by Dr David Watkin to illustrate the contribution which Downing's first architect made to the development of architecture in the early nineteenth century.

Academic activities

The Committee on Research and Teaching continues to meet once termly under the Chairmanship of Dr Massing. Annual Reports on Teaching Activities for the academical years 1998-99 and 1999-2000 detail the involvement of staff in teaching for the University (collectively they gave some 60 lectures and classes each year) in addition to their contributions as supervisors, assessors, and examiners for a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. As usual they were energetic in providing academic services to colleagues in Cambridge and elsewhere and many of them found time to lecture outside the Museum to a wide range of organizations in higher education, learned societies, and special interest groups. Their publications of articles, reviews, catalogues, and books averaged forty titles a year. Of equal importance to the Museum as it seeks to expand its academic role is its increased use by teaching officers throughout the University. For the first time in many years, the number of University classes taught in the Museum by non-members of staff exceeded the total of staff-taught classes. Clearly this reflects an increasing interest in the visual arts and material culture among a growing number of disciplines - a development which is welcome. At the same time we believe that our Research and Teaching Committee can perform a useful function in co-ordinating the efforts of these Faculties which have common interests in the intellectual resources inherent in the collections in our care. We include in this the contribution which the Hamilton Kerr Institute makes to research and teaching and, inter alia, we welcome the progress which has been made towards the recognition of its Diploma as a University qualification.


Last year we reported the welcome news that the University had agreed to the establishment of the post of Head of Education at the Museum. It was duly filled in April 1999 with the appointment of Frances Sword, the former Museums Education Officer employed by the Libraries and Heritage Section of Cambridgeshire County Council, whose innovative approach to teaching from museum collections resulted in the National Heritage Museum of the Year Award for Education in 1996 and a Churchill Trust Travelling Fellowship in 1998. We were well aware of her credentials as the person best suited to the task of building on the Museum's existing educational services and expanding them to fulfil our ambitions for lifelong learning for all sections of the community.

Additional funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, South Cambridgeshire District Council, and the R. K. Charitable Trust enabled us to employ Rachel Sinfeld as a part-time Education Officer for three years. With her help, the service for schools expanded while new programmes were introduced to cater for adult learners, families, and disabled visitors. To give the raw data: in 1998 the Museum provided teaching for a total of 14,010 schoolchildren; in 1999 the number rose to 17,000, and in 2000 that number was exceeded between January and July (17,280). The numbers for adult tours rose in similar proportions while innovations included family workshops in each of the school holidays and handling sessions for the visually impaired. Thanks to the additional financial support it enjoyed, the Tempus exhibition was exploited fully to benefit audiences of all ages, including a group of teenagers from the Lady Adrian school for children with learning disabilities, who participated in a music project called 'Time Zone'. But perhaps the most far-reaching development was in the programmes offered to teachers for their own enrichment. Introduced in 1998 with nineteen sessions, the numbers doubled in 1999 and between January and July 2000 forty such events had taken place. Nothing illustrates better the collaborative approach to museum-based learning than this extremely popular programme which enables teachers from primary and secondary schools to enjoy the Museum themselves and to appreciate simultaneously its potential as a teaching resource.

Thanks to funding from the Department for Education and Employment, the Museum was able to collaborate with Kettle's Yard in a joint project to facilitate the teaching of literacy through art. 'I see what you mean' involved a group of five teachers working with the education staff of both galleries and a writer/web designer. It neared completion at the time of writing. It is to be followed, at the Museum, by 'A Museum for All', a project which has been made possible by a grant from the Museums and Galleries Access Fund of the Heritage Lottery Fund. It will result in the creation of an on-line collections information resource based on an initial selection of more than three hundred important works from the collections, each of which will serve as a porthole opening into appropriate multi-disciplinary fields of knowledge. It is difficult to think of a more imaginative and innovative way of giving a fresh impetus to our founder's desire to promote 'the increase of learning'.

Public programmes

Throughout the academical year, the Museum maintained a full programme of lunchtime gallery talks, evening lectures, and concerts. It did so with the unfailing help of the Friends of the Fitzwilliam and the undergraduate Fitzwilliam Museum Society. To the Friends we are especially grateful for the donation of a Steinway Model B piano which provides the Museum with a suitably fine instrument for its recitals and concerts. When the Music Committee, under the indefatigable chairmanship of Lady Boyd, proposed that acquisition they were aided and abetted by Simon Howe of Cambridge Pianoforte Services, who supplied the piano interest-free, pending the completion of the Friends' fundraising efforts. A Gala Evening with Fanny Waterman and Ben Frith in November 1999 served to close the remaining gap well ahead of schedule.

In December, the Friends celebrated their ninetieth birthday. At their annual Christmas Party the longest serving member, Denys Spittle, OBE, FSA, who joined in 1935, spoke affectionately about Sir Sydney Cockerell, the Director of the Museum who established the Friends, before cutting the anniversary cake.

Hamilton Kerr Institute

Work continued on the Institute's two long-term projects, both of which involve research-based treatment of medieval panel paintings. The polyptych from the church of Thornham Parva, dating to around 1340, was nearing completion at the time of writing and treatment had begun of the slightly earlier Westminster Retable, which was painted towards the end of the thirteenth century and is, despite its damaged state, one of the most important examples of medieval painting in England to survive the stripping of the altars. Another long-term treatment, involving the painstaking reconstruction of the Battle of the Spurs (c. 1540) from the Royal Collection was completed and the painting was returned to Hampton Court in July. The discovery of a signature during the cleaning of The Judgment of Zaleucus, given to the Museum by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam in 1916, enabled the attribution of the painting to Ambrosius Francken (1544-1618) to be confirmed. That panel, together with the Italian Landscape, painted on canvas by Jan Both in the Founder's Collection, will be featured in an exhibition on the conservation of the Museum's paintings, Caught in Time (22 September - 23 December 2000). No. 3 of the Institute's Bulletin will also be published in September 2000. For Trinity College, Cambridge the Institute undertook to clean the altarpiece of St Michael, painted on the College Chapel by Benjamin West, while the list of other clients for whom work was carried out, in the studios in London and Whittlesford and in situ, was headed, as usual, by the National Trust.

The volume of studio work ensured that permanent and contract staff were fully occupied throughout the period under review. In the light of her excellent contribution to the work of the Institute, the Advisory Council was pleased to recommend the reappointment of Marie Louise Sauerberg for a further three years from 2001.

In September 1999, Tiarna Doherty, from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in art conservation, took up a one-year internship as part of her Master's Degree and a second position was offered to Dearbhla Ormond, a graduate of the M.A. programme at the University of Northumbria. They joined Sue-Ann Chui and Joseph Padfield, who stayed for a second year's internship, and Nilabh Sinha, a conservator for the Indian National Trust in Delhi, who joined the Institute for a six-month internship supported by the Charles Wallace India Trust. The postgraduate fellowship held by Jenny Rose, which is funded by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, was renewed for a second year.

In 1999, the architect, Tristram Rees-Roberts, carried out an initial survey of the attics in the Mill House. After further discussion with the Director, Freeland Rees Roberts submitted proposals for the roof spaces above the Library and the cottage wing and for the construction of a mezzanine in the Library. Costs were estimated (May 2000) at £200,000. While this project must clearly await funding from an outside source, the Advisory Council was enthusiastic in its endorsement of it. Meanwhile, a substantial increase in the ground rent of the Ebury Street premises has led the Institute to renegotiate its arrangements with its tenants there, Simon Bobak and Anna Sanden, and to undertake a long-term review of the sustainability of the London studio.

The Institute was pleased to accept as a gift from his widow the archives of Jim Murrell, the former Head of Conservation at the Victoria and Albert Museum, whose knowledge of the techniques of miniature painting was unsurpassed. During the period under review, the Institute also benefited from the financial support of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers, the Rayne Foundation, the Idlewild Trust, Professor Kern Wildenthal, and Woodmansterne Publications Ltd.

Despite these generous contributions, and an increase in income from restoration work, the deficit on the operating account continued to rise. As usual the problem lay in the maintenance and repair of the Mill House. While rises in the value of the endowment have offset deficits over the past several years, we are painfully conscious that we cannot rely indefinitely on that solution to what has become a recurrent problem.

Finally, we record our gratitude to Professor Hall and Dr Gage, who stepped down from the Advisory Council after years of service during which they provided the Institute with valuable guidance from their respective spheres of influence and expertise. We welcome two new members: Professor B. F. G. Johnson, Professor of Chemistry and Master of Fitzwilliam College, and Dr Paul Binski, Chairman of the History of Art Department, whose specialization in medieval art is particularly relevant to the Institute's interest in panel painting of that period.


We end this Report on the threshold of a major development. The Heritage Lottery Fund has given to our Courtyard Building the signal we have waited for and worked towards for the past ten years. It is time now to look ahead to the opportunity we have to extend the Museum in ways which will improve its core functions, to preserve the collections, and to make them more accessible. In the coming months we face a formidable challenge - to raise £4m in partnership funding in order to progress the plan. But we are confident that, with the backing of the University and the efforts of our Development Committee under the Chairmanship of Nicholas Baring, we will achieve our target by December 2001.


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Cambridge University Reporter Special, 9 April 2001
Copyright © 2011 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.