Breaking News: Charles Saatchi Donates his Gallery and over 200 works worth roughly $37.5 million to the UK to create London Museum of Contemporary art upon his retirement in 2012

July 1st, 2010

Tragic Anatomies
(1996) by Jake and Dinos Chapman, via Artnet

Renowned advertising tycoon and art collector Charles Saatchi, 67, announced today that he would gift the Saatchi Gallery and over 200 works of art to the nation. Located in the Duke of York Square in Chelsea, the gallery will be renamed the Museum of Contemporary Art London in 2012 once Saatchi retires. The works which will be donated total more than $37.5 million and are situated in a 70,000 square foot gallery, one of the largest spaces in the world. Among the works to be donated  include Tracey Emin‘s “My Bed” (1998), Jake and Dinos Chapman‘s “Tragic Anatomies” (1996), Richard Wilson’s oil room (1987), and Kader Attia‘s “Ghost” (2007).

More text and images after the jump…

My Bed (1998) by Tracey Emin which will be included in the collection, via The Guardian

The statement which Saatchi made today was said just under a month after he turned 67. Saatchi’s gallery has been very much like a living museum in that it is consistently alert to the newest trends and developments in the contemporary art world. Saatchi would like it to stay this way, even after he is no longer running it. After the donation the works will be government-owned and open to the public in the Duke of York Square at no extra cost. The foundation will continue to buy and sell art with funds obtained through sponsorship, retailing, catering and hall rental. Cadogen Estate, owner of the Duke of York Square, where the Saatchi gallery is located, expressed the hope that the gallery will remain in its present location for the future. The new museum will pride itself on being free to the public thus encouraging the number of visitors.

20:50 (1987) by Richard Wilson, via The Telegraph

The co-founder of Saatchi and Saatchi advertising agency, Charles Saatchi is responsible for the early success of the Young British Artists (otherwise known as YBAs) who include Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin among others. He still picks out artists from around the world to show at his gallery and continues to buy and sell artwork. “He’s not retiring any time soon: He’s fit as a fiddle. This is really just about making sure that things are carried on in the way that we’ve been doing,” said Rebecca Wilson, the gallery’s Director of Development in a recent interview with Bloomberg.

(2007) by Kader Attia, via Saatchi Gallery

Since the Saatchi Gallery’s opening in 2008 over $30.37 million has been spent by Saatchi and the Cadogan Estate to create a model environment for a contemporary art gallery. Even after he retires Saatchi will continue to own many works privately which will then be passed down to his family upon his death. The donation will be revealed through three exhibitions starting from the opening of the Museum of Contemporary Art London in 2012.

Charles Saatchi via Daily Mail

Saatchi’s vision has been acclaimed by artists, statesman, and art world professionals. “Philanthropy is central to our vision of a thriving cultural sector,” said UK Secretary of Culture Jeremy Hunt in a recent correspondence with Bloomberg. “This is an outstanding example of how Britain can benefit from individual acts of social responsibility.”

“I’m thrilled. I wish more people had that kind of vision,” said Tracy Emin.

Saatchi’s donation is an act which aims to encourage the participation of the public in the arts, offer a great collection to further benefit the contemporary art world, and continue a vision which Saatchi has worked for over the last 25 years.

Related Links:
Charles Saatchi’s Donation
[The Telegraph]
Charles Saatchi gifts 200 works to the Nation [The Guardian]
Charles Saatchi gives gallery to the nation [BBC]
Charles Saatchi’s Art Gift to the Nation: as generous as it seems? [The Guardian]
Saatchi Donates 200 artworks, Gallery to UK [CBS]
Saatchi Donates Gallery to UK [WSJ]
Charles Saatchi Gives U.K. His London Gallery: $37.5 million Worth of Art[BBC]
UK’s Saatchi to give art gallery and 200 works to nation [Reuters]


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Wireless News December 3, 2010

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