Hertfordshire County Council have announced the sale of the majority of a collection founded by a pioneering director of education, John Newsom, which he established in 1949. The collection was one of the first of its kind intended for schools to loan, and known as the 'Art for Schools' or 'School Loan Collection'.
In view of the collection's original aims, NSEAD cannot support the sale and ask that you consider signing this 'Save Hertfordshire's Public Art Collection'.
Hertfordshire County Council state that they consulted on the sale, which will take place 21 March. They also say: 'The service became less relevant to the evolving curriculum and it was suspended in 2012 and permanently discontinued in 2017'. NSEAD does not agree that the curriculum, introduced in 2010, justifies 'disposing' of the art for schools. Indeed the Society believes first-hand access to both contemporary and 20th-century artworks, is as vital today as it was in 1949. The Council intends to sell 90 per cent of the artworks which include a Barbara Hepworth.
The collection also includes works by John Nash, Keith Vaughan, Carel Weight, Josef Herman, Joan Eardley, Malvina Cheek, John Tunnard, Alan Davie, Chris Orr, Sir Peter Blake, John Minton and many other highly regarded artists.
Michele Gregson, NSEAD general secretary said: ‘Given the provenance of these artworks, intended to benefit generations of children and young people in Hertfordshire, who do not have access to arts, we urgently ask that the County Council reconsider the private sale of these public artworks.'
On Saturday March 8, NSEAD patron Bob and Roberta Smith and Jessica Voorsanger protested against the sale outside Hertfordshire County Hall. The have written to David Williams, Leader of Hertfordshire Council, urging further discussion and consideration as to how the children and young people of Hertfordshire can continue to benefit from their Art in Schools collection.