collector Charles Saatchi is famous
for his patronage which has made the careers
of British artists like Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst, fueling the trend for young British artists in the 1990s. Now the ad man has announced that his lifetime of collecting will be Britain's gain. He has announced plans to donate
his London gallery and 200 works as a new public art museum. The impressive gift is worth more than 25 million pounds. The Saatchi Gallery
will be renamed the Museum of Contemporary Art, London.
Pieces being donated include Emin's "My Bed" and Richard Wilson's "20:50," a room filled with oil. Saatchi, who is married to celebrity
chef Nigella Lawson, is an insatiable collector and even after the donation
he will still own many, many works. The donation, no doubt, will allow him to go on collecting while helping insure
that contemporary art has a place in Britain's future. The works that Saatchi favors are at time controversial and often challenge the nature of what really makes something "art."According to an article in Art Daily
, Rebecca Wilson, associate director of the Saatchi Gallery, said that the gift also includes other works that can be sold to buy new acquisitions to help grow the collection. She referred to is as being a "very agile collection that can respond quickly to developments
in contemporary art from all over the world."
The owner of the building that houses
the gallery on London's King's Road, Cadogan Estate is hoping that the new museum will stay put in the same place. The staff and management team are also staying the same. What is changing is the name and the knowledge that the gallery, while still the result of one man's obsessive art collecting, is now a gift to the city he lives in.