City investor gives £1m to British Museum for Picasso etchings
In the week that the newly -published Coutts Million Pound Donors Report shows donations are down 15%, director of Mondrian Investment Partners Hamish Parker has donated £1m to the British Museum, allowing it to buy a collection of 100 Picasso sketches.
British Museum curator of the Modern Collection, department of prints and drawings Stephen Coppel said: “We are extremely grateful to Hamish Parker for his extraordinary generosity in enabling the British Museum to acquire the Vollard Suite, the 100 etchings produced by Picasso in the 1930s and universally regarded as the pinnacle of his achievement as a printmaker. It is an acquisition for the nation. No other museum in the UK holds the Vollard Suite and only a handful of museums around the world can claim to own the complete set.”
The collection has never been seen in public before and will be on display next summer.
Parker heard about the Museum’s desire to purchase the collection during a members’ event last year. He has given the money in memory of his father, Major Horace Parker, who died last year. The donation is made through the Hamish Parker Charitable Trust.
Coppel received an email from Parker earlier this year letting him know of his intention to donate the money. He added: “Hamish Parker’s generosity is an act of real farsightedness for Picasso’s Vollard Suite is now in a public UK collection for everyone to enjoy and study in perpetuity. It stands as a supreme example of the difference that an individual can make to strengthening the public collections in the UK at a time when severe cuts on public funding undermine one of the core reasons people come to museums: the pleasure and instruction afforded by its collections.”