In the bicentenary of the birth of John Ruskin, the charity team at law firm Russell-Cooke has acted on the sale and donation of the Whitehouse Ruskin Collection to Lancaster University.
This process has secured for the nation an unparalleled collection of the paintings and drawings, books and manuscripts, photographs and daguerreotypes of John Ruskin, the epoch-defining critic, artist, environmentalist and social thinker.
Brought together by educationalist and Liberal MP, John Howard Whitehouse, the Whitehouse Ruskin Collection contains thousands of items and provides an unprecedented insight into the life and work of John Ruskin and his circle of highly influential associates, including Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris and John Everett Millais. It is one of the most complete compilations of a single author's works anywhere in the world.
The sale and donation of the Collection was supported by the National Heritage Memorial Fund, The Art Fund and other funders.
Partner Chris Rowse, assisted by senior associate Gareth Roy, advised on the terms of agreements for the sale and donation of the Collection to Lancaster University and the loan of part of the Collection from the University to Brantwood, Ruskin's home at Coniston in the Lake District.
Charlotte Robins, Chair of The Education Trust Limited, said: "On behalf of The Education Trust and The Whitehouse Trust, we are pleased and proud that it has been possible for the stewardship of this comprehensive Ruskin collection to transfer into the care and ownership of Lancaster University, after decades of association with my family. In this way we believe the University will be able to develop and enhance public access to, and engagement with, Ruskin's legacy. The transaction will allow The Education Trust to continue to focus on Brantwood, Coniston (John Ruskin's home from 1872 until his death in 1900). We are especially grateful to all who have made this possible, including the National Heritage Memorial Fund and other donors, and for the vision and support of a very important and valuable heritage collection."
Chris Rowse said: "John Ruskin was a renaissance man and highly innovative thinker. His theories of social justice and on the arts were enormously influential and still reverberate today, 200 years after his birth. This collection covers every aspect of his work and his very diverse interests. It has been a huge pleasure to work on this project to ensure this collection of national importance will be available to the public for posterity and secure the future of Brantwood."