A Century of Giving

Section Three: 1967-1990

Late 20th century expansion: David Piper & Michael Jaffé

Image["1965 extension to the Fitzwilliam Museum"]

1965 extension to the Fitzwilliam Museum

Under the directorship of Sir David Piper (1967-73), the Fitzwilliam began to look to the long term future, aware that its needs and priorities as a university museum had changed.

This period saw a further expansion of the collections. Contemporary art was now beginning to be acquired and, in 1965, the new 20th Century Gallery was opened in the 'White Cube Building'. This self-contained extension, an American-influenced design, represented radical modern architecture in Cambridge.

In 1975, under Professor Michael Jaffé's directorship (1973-1990), another extension was opened, including a new entrance, Reading Room, and purpose-built gallery for the display of modern art. The latter was named after Sir Robert Adeane, Patron of the Friends (1975-9) who had given £100,000 to launch the extension appeal.

Image["Hans Coper, Vase"]

Hans Coper

Fitzwilliam Museum

In 1979, Fitzwilliam Museum Enterprise began trading in the Museum - selling books, postcards and a wide range of popular merchandise associated with the collection.

The Friends' fund was widely used during these years of expansion: in building up a contemporary print collection, for instance, and in securing important paintings - such as Cuyp's Sunset, and Van Dyck's Madonna & Child. In ceramics, the Museum's 'rather weak modern representation' was systematically strengthened with works by Lucy Rie, Hans Coper, Bernard Leach and Sam Herman.

Image["The Messel Mica Fan"]

The Messel Mica Fan
folding fan, c.1665-1700
Fitzwilliam Museum

In 1985, the Friends gave £20,000 towards the purchase of a large collection of fans which were to be exhibited in a new, purpose-built gallery. They also contributed to the growing display of 19th century sculptures in the main Entrance Hall.

Image["Elisabeth Frink, bust of Michael Jaffé"]

Elisabeth Frink
Head of Professor Michael Jaffé

bronze, 1992
Fitzwilliam Museum

On Michael Jaffé's retirement as Director, in 1990, the Friends commissioned a portrait of him from the sculptor, Elizabeth Frink, who was also their Patron. Jaffé, a distinguished scholar, connoisseur and collector, was an impressive-looking man whose bearded profile was said to have given him 'more than a passing resemblance to an Assyrian deity'!

Image["Marchesi, The Penitent Magdalene"]

Pompeo Marchesi
The Penitent Magdalene

marble, 1832
Fitzwilliam Museum

Image["Alfred Elmore, On the Brink"]

Alfred Elmore
On the Brink

oil on canvas
on panel, 1865

Image["Andy Warhol, Danger"]

Andy Warhol

Fitzwilliam Museum


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click on images below for information about each exhibit

Image["Patrick Heron, Four blues, Two discs"]

Patrick Heron
Four blues,Two discs


Image["Florence Kingsford, Hymn to Aten"]

Florence Kingsford
Hymn to Aten


Image["John Gibson, Venus Verticorda"]

John Gibson
Venus Verticorda


Image["William de Morgan, Peacock Tiles"]

William De Morgan & Co.
'Peacock' Tiles


Image["The Tornabuoni medal"]

Niccoló Fiorentino, style of
medal Giovanna degli Albizzi, wife of Lorenzo Tornabuoni

Image["George Stubbs, Gimcrack with John Pratt up on Newmarket Heath"]

George Stubbs
Gimcrack with John Pratt up on
Newmarket Heath


Image["Fabre, Joseph Allen Smith"]

François-Xavier Fabre
Joseph Allen Smith seated above the Arno, contemplating Florence


Image["Picasso, drawing of Lydia Lopokova"]

Pablo Picasso
Lydia Lopokova


Image["Egyptian statuette"]

Egyptian statuette
Middle Kingdom, start of Dynasty XII
1991-1962 BC

The Fitzwilliam Museum : 1967-1990

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