Throughout the year the Museum and Study Collection receives many generous donation offers of items from kind individuals wishing to support Central Saint Martins. These offers are evaluated for their relevance to the collection overall, usefulness for object based learning sessions, research potential and display appeal. Here are a few donated items that have been recently acquired.

The biggest donation – literally – is an 8×4 foot painting. Purchased from a 2007 degree show by Will Wyatt CBE, former chairman of the London Institute (precursor of UAL), it is signed by Chris May on the stretcher.

With this massive landscape’s cool grey palette and faint touches of pale green and blue, foregrounded by uneven wet paving and the peripherally looming concrete building slab corner against a skeletal tree, overall the picture is dominated by the immense and featureless greyness beyond the long low line of utilitarian wire fencing. This vast blankness draws the viewer in and seems to ask what lies beyond? Held by the dividing fence, do we populate the greyness with our imaginings, wait for the wind to dissipate the obscuring mist in a grand reveal, or quietly appreciate the motionless and silent grey expanse?

Another donation to celebrate is the Margaret Till Collection. Margaret Till originally lent her collection to Central Saint Martins: her three children and heirs Celia Till, Elizabeth Sharp and Nicholas Till recently converted this loan to a permanent gift.

Margaret Till (née Levetus) studied illustration at the Central School of Arts and Crafts from 1936 and 1940, where her teachers included John Farleigh, Morris Kestelman, William Roberts and Bernard Meninsky. Over her career she worked on a wide range of illustration commissions, including book illustrations, book jackets and work for the Radio Times. Her wood engravings have been shown at exhibitions organised by the Society of Wood Engravers, of which she was a member.

The collection includes, alongside Till’s own work, several pieces by some of her Central School contemporaries and faculty members such as Farleigh, Roberts, Kestelman, Noel Rooke, Hilary Stebbing and Anthony Froshaug. This collection contains watercolours, sketches, posters, book cover designs and prints by Till, works by other artists as above, and an archive of photographs, catalogues, correspondence, magazine illustrations etc. The Margaret Till collection will be frequently used by the Museum curators in object-based learning sessions and classes, remaining accessible for students, staff, and the public now and in future.

There are still more acquisitions pending at the Museum, so keep an eye out for forthcoming blogs about these new items. To see any of the above items, or anything else in the collection, please email: collection.museum@csm.arts.ac.uk

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