Help bring the De Morgan collection to Wightwick

Detail of a red lustre ship plate by William De Morgan

Wightwick Manor is embarking on a joint venture with the De Morgan Foundation to open a new gallery in our old Malthouse, displaying some of the finest paintings and ceramics pieces produced by Evelyn and William De Morgan. But we need your help to do it!

The De Morgan Collection was set up by Mrs Stirling (née Pickering). She was the sister of Evelyn De Morgan and niece of the artist Roddam Spencer-Stanhope. The aim of the De Morgan Foundation is to preserve and provide access to the works of the most creative couple of the Victorian era.

Evelyn De Morgan was a pioneering female artist, who not only painted Botticelli inspired beauties but also portrayed the grim effects of war, raising money for the Red Cross through exhibitions of her art. Her husband William De Morgan was the most inventive studio ceramicist of the Arts and Crafts Movement; creating painted tiles, plates and bowls in colours and patterns inspired by Islamic design as well as his signature range of ceramics decorated in ruby red and gold with shimmering lustrous finishes.

The Manders and Stirlings began writing to each other when Geoffrey and Rosalie were in the process of giving Wightwick to the National Trust and establishing the manor as a focus of Pre-Raphaelite art in 1937. During the Second World War Geoffrey offered to house Mrs Stirling's growing collection of De Morgan art work, safely away from the London bombings. His letter arrived shortly after the Collection had been sent to a secure location, but we feel honoured to be able to uphold that offer of homing part of the De Morgan Collection.

You can already see fine examples of work by the De Morgans at Wightwick Manor. Now we want to open a special gallery devoted to their art on the upper floor of the old Malthouse.

The work to convert the space will include new lighting, heating and specialist security systems, as well as a lift so that the space is accessible for all. The total cost of the project is £125,000. The National Trust is committed to funding half of this figure, and we already have gifts totalling £50,000 from private charitable trusts. We now need to raise the remaining figure from the general public.

You can support us by buying a National Trust raffle ticket on site for £1 (and you might even win £10,000 as a prize), or you can text MALT58 followed by the figure you wish to give to 70070, so to donate £10 you text MALT58£10.
Or you can visit our just giving page and make a donation there. Please remember to gift aid you donation if you are a UK tax payer, that way the UK government will use some of your annual tax payments to support us as well.

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