The Art of Giving – How gifts have shaped the Towner Collection

Ivàn Navarro, Nowhere Man I, 2009 (gift from the artist)

Ivàn Navarro, Nowhere Man I, 2009 (gift from the artist)

Like many art museums, Towner relies upon the generosity of artists, collectors and you, the public. 

This display celebrates this ongoing philanthropy and explores how donations have shaped our collection.

The Towner Collection began with 22 Victorian paintings, bequested by Alderman Towner in 1920 to establish an ‘art gallery for the people’.  Since then the generosity of individuals has helped the collection flourish. 

The works on display range from 16th century etchings by Albrecht Dürer to contemporary photography and sculpture. 

A cross-section of 20th century British art – one of the Towner Collection’s strengths – includes Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, Alfred Wallis, Christopher Wood, George Clausen, Victor Pasmore and Paul Nash.

Also featured are sketches for the Berwick Church murals by Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell.

Towner remains at the forefront of contemporary art collecting and maintains strong relationships with living artists.  The most recent additions to the collection were given by Jem Southam and Ivàn Navarro.

16th C triptych (artist unknown)

16th C triptych (artist unknown)

You don’t have to be an artist or collector to support Towner – people from all walks of life are enjoying the art of giving by becoming Towner members! 

Our members provide vital support for the gallery as well as receiving fantastic benefits.

Membership costs as little as £30 per year (or £18 for a student).  Join today and receive a limited edition membership card designed by Peter Liversidge to start your own art collection!

Find out more about Towner membership

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