The Sainsbury Centre is one of around a hundred university museums in the UK which are regularly open to the public. Sir Robert (1906 -2000) and Lady Lisa Sainsbury (1912- ) donated their collection of world art to the University of East Anglia in 1973 and the Sainsbury Centre first opened its doors to visitors in 1978. It was the Sainsburys’ hope that students, academic staff and the general public would grow to appreciate the works on display in much the same way as the Sainsburys themselves had done, by being able to look frequently and closely at them without the distraction of too much museum-style text and labelling.
By the late 1980s the Collection and the staff had outgrown the original building and the Crescent Wing was added, with new office, exhibition and technical spaces. In 2002, to mark his mother’s ninetieth birthday, Lord David Sainsbury gave her – and thus the University- the splendid promise of a new gallery linking the two parts of the Centre, together with new education and studio spaces. These opened to the public in May 2006, making the Collections even more accessible and, in the true spirit of the original gift, available for all to enjoy.
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
University of East Anglia
NR4 7TJ UK
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