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News | Published: Fri 28 Oct 2011

ImageThe new business consortium that helped make Vermeer’s Women possible

Vermeer’s Women has been one of the most successful exhibitions to date at the Fitzwilliam Museum with over 25,000 visitors in the first three weeks alone. Featuring Vermeer’s masterpiece The Lacemaker, on loan to the UK from the Louvre in Paris for the first time, three other Vermeer masterpieces and over twenty paintings by his finest 17th-century Dutch contemporaries, this groundbreaking exhibition would not have been possible without the combined support of a consortium of local businesses.

Representing five business sectors the consortium partners are Hewitsons, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, RealVNC, Sarasin & Partners, and TTP Group.

The exhibition has also had major support from The Monument Trust, and is also supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Recanati-Kaplan Foundation and The Marlay Group.

Members of the consortium enjoyed the exhibition at their own reception on 13 October, where staff members and guests could see The Lacemaker and other masterpieces of Dutch painting up close.

Dr Timothy Potts, Director of The Fitzwilliam Museum commented: "Cambridge’s businesses are very committed to supporting programmes that represent a social investment in the community, particularly in the case of the Fitzwilliam which is the principal art Museum for the University of Cambridge and where exhibitions are free and genuinely open to all. But they still need also to be associated with events that build their companies’ profile and brand visibility. In today’s difficult financial climate it makes increasing sense for consortia of like-minded companies to join together in supporting a truly major event of national and international significance. Representing different business sectors, each organisation can enjoy the entertainment opportunities and other benefits of sponsorship that are so attractive in the arts sector.

"We cannot over-emphasise the importance that this consortium has made. A major proportion of the support for the exhibition had been provided by The Monument Trust, but without the support of forward-thinking businesses this exhibition would not have been possible. We hope that this consortium will prove a model for the creative support of major arts events in Cambridge and beyond."

Future partnership opportunities with the Fitzwilliam Museum:
Following on from the success of the Vermeer consortium sponsorship, there will be further opportunities to partner with the Fitzwilliam in 2012 for the major international exhibition The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China.

During the last two centuries BC the Western Han dynasty of China forged the first stable empire covering all of China - a golden age that shaped the way we see China today. In their search for immortality the imperial family left an artistic legacy of spectacular beauty and power. The finest treasures from this era - including exquisite jades, silver and goldwork, bronzes and ceramics - have been found in the tombs of the Han imperial family and of a rival "emperor" of Nanyue, which will be brought together for the first time in this landmark exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum.

For more information about supporting future projects at the Fitzwilliam contact Development Officer Sue Rhodes, tel: 01223 332939.

Image: Members of the business consortium at their reception on 13 October