How did the Sainsbury Centre begin?
The Sainsbury Collection was given to UEA in 1973. The Sainsburys also gave UEA a capital endowment to fund a new building and to assist the University with future running costs.
Why did the Sainsburys choose UEA?
When Robert and Lisa Sainsbury were looking for a university to give their collection to, they were passionate that their objects should be kept and displayed together – the new campus at UEA had plenty of room, the necessary flexibility and had already embraced modern architecture with Denys Lasdun’s famous designs.
Is there any connection with Sainsbury’s supermarket?
Yes, Sir Robert was joint manager of Sainsbury’s grocery business with his older brother, Alan (later Lord Sainsbury), becoming chairman in 1967. In the same year, he chaired the board of the Tate Gallery and was knighted for his services to the arts. He was made joint president of the supermarket chain in 1969. Robert and Lisa’s eldest son, Lord David Sainsbury of Turville was Minister for Science and Innovation. Sir Robert’s nephews, Alan Sainsbury’s sons, were responsible for the Sainsbury Wing at the National Gallery.
For more information see History