Prior to his ear1y death in 1984, Derek Williams had provided that his Collection of Art and his personal fortune be the subject of charitable disposition, with absolute power to his Trustees to either transfer his Estate to the National Museum of Wales, or similar Charitable Organisation, which his Trustees considered would fulfil the objects which he intended to benefit. This formed the basis of the setting-up of The Derek Williams Trust in 1992 (No:1015251) as a separate charity with complete independence of National bodies.
During 1993 a long-term agreement was entered into with NMW in the formation of The Derek Williams Committee, charged with the enhancement of both the Museum’s and the Trust’s own individual Collections of Post 19th Century Works of Fine Art. This Committee meets at least twice a year to discuss collecting targets and Policy.
In recognising the 20th anniversary of the signing of this agreement David Anderson, National Museum Wales Director General, said,‘The Derek Williams Trust’s unique contribution to the visual arts will provide a lasting legacy for the people of Wales. The generous support of the Derek Williams Trust has transformed the Museum’s collection of 20th century art and parallels the great bequests of French Impressionist art made by Gwendoline and Margaret Davies a generation ear1ier. In times of economic difficulty for museums across the UK this support cannot be underestimated.’ This acknowledgement echoes the comments made by the Director of NMW at the time of the signing of the agreement in 1993.
The original Collection concentrated on British Art of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s, and through its loan to NMW seriously augments the Museum’s collection of works by Piper, Geri Richards and Suther1and. The annual income arising from the Trust funds, is used to make additions to the Collection, and also to acquire works in partnership with the Museum. lt also provides funding for Artistic Commissions and Research, the National Eisteddfod of Wales Purchasing Grant, and the Artes Mundi Purchase Prize. Significant purchases by NMW of works have all been achieved with considerable assistance from the Trust, not least the purchase of Picasso’s ‘Nature Morte au Poron’ acquired with equal funding from the Trust with additional support from The Art Fund.
New acquisitions of work of international standing continue to be made so that at 5th April 2016, the Trust had expended over £6.6m in adding to its own Collection and in supporting Artistic projects, mainly for NMW. A recent generous bequest has greatly enhanced the Trust’s and Museum’s ceramics collection.
The public display of the Trust’s individual Collection occurs mainly at NMW but is not confined to those premises. Within the past six years the Trust has also committed substantial assistance to the Museum in the refurbishment of the West Wing Galleries at Cathays Park, where curation of the Collection is undertaken at the Museum, through the Derek Williams Curator.