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Art and Literature Trust Funds

We are the trustee of over 100 trust funds, used to support academic activities at our member institutions, the School of Advanced Study and Senate House Library. ​


The University of London - Art and Literature Trust Funds.

These trust funds were established following generous donations from supporters. Some are almost as old as the University itself, dating back to the 1850s, while many others have been created since 2000. Please find details of our Art & Literature Trust Funds below.

Trust Funds

The Batt Bequest was given to the University in 1962 from the Thomas Witherden Batt Foundation. The gift was given with two specified purposes and so it was split into two separate Trust Funds, the Batt Bequest and the Batt Scholarship. The Batt Bequest, the smaller of the two, was to be used to pay the cost of administering the Batt Scholarships.

The University does not usually charge its Trust Funds for the cost of administration so instead the Batt Bequest has been distributed to The Courtauld Institute of Art to support students visiting museums and galleries in Europe.

In 1941, Lady Miriam Busk donated a portrait by John Singer Sargent of her late husband Sir Edward Henry Busk, along with a sum of money to be used for the upkeep and maintenance of the painting. Sir Edward served as the eleventh Vice-Chancellor of the University of London (1905-07), was Chairman of the Convocation and a fellow of both the University and University College London.

The money was given to the Slade Professor of Fine Art at University College London who was responsible for the maintenance of the portrait.

In 1956, the University was informed of a sum of money left in the will of Mr A. C. Coffin. The bequest had a number of elements to it and the University chose to split them up into individual trust funds. Under the agreed trust, the University was to run “a lecture on any recent research of historical literary or scientific interest.”

The John Coffin Lecture Fund is overseen by the RPF Programmes Committee at the School of Advanced Study; there are multiple John Coffin Memorial Lectures held every academic year. The lectures have been held at both the Institute of English Studies and the Institute of Historical Research.

In 1975 Professor Sir Ernst Gombrich was awarded the Erasmus Prize for his contribution to the development of relations between public and visual arts. One condition of the prize was that half should go to a cause stipulated by the recipient for the benefit of young people. Professor Gombrich was the Director of the Warburg Institute 1959 – 1976 and selected the Institute to receive the sum awarded, to be used at the Institute Director’s discretion, to support the preparation and publication of research on the Cultural History of Europe by young scholars. In 1987 Professor Gombrich made a donation to the Institute to increase the value of the fund.

The Hilda Hulme Memorial Lectures were established in 1985 following a donation from Mr Mohamed Aslam in memory of his wife, Dr Hilda Hulme. The lectures are on the subject of English literature and are held annually at the Institute of English Studies. The trust fund is overseen by the School of Advanced Study’s RPF Programmes Committee .

A list of previous Hilda Hulme Memorial Lectures

In 2009 the University was the recipient of a bequest from Mr Richard McDougall for the advancement of education in fine art. It was Mr McDougall’s wishes that the trust fund allow for the holding of lectures on the subject of British Watercolours since 1750.

The annual income from the bequest is paid over to The Courtauld Institute of Art and the inaugural Richard McDougall Lecture was held in May 2011.

The Saxl Fund was established in 1949 for the purpose of advancing studies in the history of the Classical tradition at the Warburg Institute. The fund was to be used by the Institute’s Director to purchase items which would enhance the Institute’s facilities for research. The Saxl Fund is overseen by the Saxl Committee, comprised of the Fund’s trustees. The Saxl Fund continues to support the research at the Warburg Institute.

The Saxl-Heidi Heimann fund is used to purchase books and periodicals in any field covered by the library of the Warburg Institute. The fund was created following a bequest from Heidi Heimann and is administered in the same way as the Saxl Fund through the Saxl Committee.

The Saxl-Medieval Art fund was created following the Heidi Heimann’s bequest; its purpose was for the purchasing of books and photographs on medieval art. As with the Saxl and Saxl-Heidi Heimann funds, the Saxl-Medieval Art fund is overseen by the Saxl Trustees and Saxl Committee. One third of the funds income goes to the support the Photographic Collection and two-thirds to the Warburg Institute’s Library.

The Warburg Institute was the recipient of an endowment from Professor Ernst Sondheimer in memory of his aunt, Grete Sondheimer, who worked in the Library of the Warburg Institute in London from 1944 to 1947. The fund supports a short-term fellowship, which is tenable at the Warburg Institute, and may be held in relation to any of area of the Institute’s interest.

The JB Trapp Memorial Fund was created in 2007 by the trustees of the Saxl fund and supports the Warburg Institute. It commemorates Joseph Burney Trapp, a professor of the History of the Classical Tradition and Director of the Warburg Institute between 1976 and 1990, who passed away in 2005. Professor Trapp became a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1978, a Fellow of the British Academy in 1980 and was awarded a CBE in 1990. The fund is used to support student bursaries at the Warburg Institute.

In 1981 the Warburg Institute was the recipient of a generous bequest from Dame Frances Yates. In her will, Dame Frances left her residuary estate to found research Fellowships in her name at the Institute. Yates Fellowships may be awarded to scholars with an interest in any aspect of cultural and intellectual history with a preference for those whose work is concerned with those areas of the medieval and Renaissance encyclopedia of knowledge, to which Dame Frances herself made such distinguished contributions.

The Yates endowment fund currently supports both long-term fellowships and short-term Yates fellowships.