Dear David Williams,
Leader of Hertfordshire Council.
We are writing to you to express the concern and misgivings
expressed to us by many artists and teachers over the proposed sale
of art works in your 'Art for Schools' collection. Hertfordshire's 'Art
for Schools' initiative was one of the country's first such schemes and
marks an historic moment in the Child Art Movement when
significant artists such as Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth
thought that art was the antidote to the conflicts of the 20th century.
They encouraged others like Carol Weight RA and Pamela Izzard to
make available art works for collection in order to inspire young
minds. Many of the images show children at play.
You will realise that your council will be labeled as misunderstanding
the needs of young people and ignoring the desire by generations of
artists and thinkers to inspire the imagination. Bob was a child in
Inner London at a time when the then 'Inner London Education
Authority' commissioned prints by artists for schools. The walls of
Brandlehow School were lined with wonderful images that brought
the outside world into the school in a form that was thoughtful and
We ask you to think again. Do contact us to discuss this issue.
Auction houses frequently inflate the sums of money to be gained
from such sales to prospective sellers. This is undoubtedly the case
here. There is no possibility you will raise the stated £300,000. The
Children and citizens of Hertford who own these works will be
stripped of an historic and inspiring collection for a sum that will do
nothing for the tax payers of Hertford. Talk to artists. We can help and
advise. In 2014 Bob was part of Art UK's 'Masterpieces in schools
project'. The delight on children’s faces when we took a Monet to a
primary school in Mid Wales was amazing. We all cried. Seeing the
real thing, real paintings and sculptures is a wonderful thing. Be part
of opening children’s eyes, art makes children powerful.
Please accept these drawings by us for the collection.
Bob and Roberta Smith RA OBE
and Jessica Voorsanger