There are several examples of this in their home town of Nottingham, where the name ‘Djanogly’ is attributed to three remarkable venues hosted by the University of Nottingham. In addition, the Nottingham Playhouse proudly hosted Anish Kapoor’s famous Sky Mirror sculpture on what is now known as The Djanogly Playground. Through establishing these connections and actively contributing to the longevity of both The Playhouse, Lakeside Arts and arts at Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent University, the Djanoglys have had a positive and profound effect on accessibility to the arts for all in their local area. But their giving doesn’t stop there.
As collectors who have devoted their energy and passion to British decorative art, in particular, watches, ceramics and woodwork, as well as a notable enthusiasm for the work of the eminent L S Lowry, the Djanoglys understand the notion of culture as a shared treasure and collective asset. Always eager to lend objects from their splendid collection, their largesse has enabled museums and galleries to reveal the stories behind these extraordinary pieces to visitors from all walks of life.
The Djanoglys began making waves with their arts philanthropy in the late 1970s. In 1997 they joined the re-formed Tate International Council and continue to be active supporters. That year also saw their contribution to Tate’s two major capital campaigns at both Tate Britain and Tate Modern, proving instrumental to the success of both at a critical point. Fast forward to 2012, a generous capital donation secured the conclusion of the Millbank Project campaign at Tate Britain.
Around the same time, the Djanoglys became faithful friends of the V&A, characteristically investing beyond the monetary import, but taking an active and informed interest in the collections of the museum and the importance of acquiring cardinal works, or indeed, lending their own. Their appreciation for the quintessentially British manifests itself notably in their substantial donation to the British Galleries in 2000 as well as funding the display of the V&A’s world-renowned collection of English pottery.
Moving on to some of the other leviathans of British culture, the impact of the Djanoglys’ beneficence continues to be felt at the Royal Academy, National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. At the National Gallery they provided valuable support for the Gallery’s East Wing Capital Project in 2005 with an endowment of £500,000, helping to accommodate the ever-increasing numbers the Gallery welcomes through its doors. They have also been ardent champions of the National Portrait Gallery for many years, donating to numerous acquisition campaigns, as well as capital projects.
Beyond their backing of our esteemed national galleries, the Djanoglys’ philanthropy extends to the spheres of education, health, theatre and heritage. The British Museum enjoys a strong relationship with the family and the Sir Harry and Lady Djanogly Gallery for Clocks and Watches was a partnership of the truest kind with the moral and practical support of the couple, as well as vital financial support during its opening in 2008. They were also instrumental in the development project which created the Jewish Museum which we enjoy today. Jo Collins MBE, co-founder of the celebrated Chickenshed Theatre Company encapsulates the contribution of the couple to culture in the UK as follows: "Sir Harry and Lady Djanogly have a genuine desire and passion to use the arts to help make lives better. Their unwavering generosity and guidance has secured the future of many arts organisations and their continued devotion and support has inspired philanthropy from many friends and business associates."
Photo: Paul Burns Photography