A lasting legacy - supporting our collections

A lasting legacy - supporting our collections

  • Cambridge University Botanic Garden
    Cambridge University Botanic Garden

The legacy from Monica Beck (widow of the late Professor Bill Beck) reflects her life-long relationship with, and affection for, the Fitzwilliam Museum and Cambridge University Botanic Garden.

New additions to the Fitzwilliam Museum

Included in Monica's legacy to the Fitzwilliam are paintings for the collection.

We are delighted that Monica chose to remember the Fitzwilliam Museum in this way. Monica’s bequest has also assisted a recent major acquisition – the purchase of a magnificent seventeenth-century Augsburg cabinet.

Tim Knox, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum

"With the Museum celebrating its bicentenary, we look forward to welcoming even greater numbers of visitors through the doors to enjoy these exciting new additions," adds Tim.

Growing research value

For the Botanic Garden, the Beck Legacy has enabled a new Research Fund that will play a vital role in enhancing plant science in the Garden. In particular, it will help to support promising young research scientists who are using the Garden’s living collection to enhance our understanding of the fundamental biology of the plant kingdom – a field known as ‘plant systematics’.

The science of plant systematics provides the fundamental underpinning to all functional plant science research. With researchers worldwide focusing on unlocking plant genetic processes to develop solutions to problems of global food security, changing climate and diminishing biodiversity, a comparative framework in which to hang plant relationships is more crucial than ever.

Professor Beverley Glover, Director, Cambridge University Botanic Garden

A separate gift from the Monument Trust will simultaneously support a major interpretation project to unlock the research and outreach value of the plant diversity grown in the Garden’s heritage Systematic Beds.

The University of Cambridge has nine Museums, situated in one square mile of Cambridge. They hold more than five million works of art, artefacts and specimens, and represent the country’s highest concentration of internationally important collections outside London.

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Find out more about the University of Cambridge Museums and Collections or to read more about why philanthropy matters, explore our collection of impact stories.