The renowned art collectors Eric and Jean Cass donated over 300 important modern and contemporary artworks from their personal collection to the Contemporary Art Society between 2010-2013 for allocation to public institutions and to support contemporary art in the UK. The collection, amassed over almost 40 years and previously housed in the interiors and gardens of ‘Bleep’, Eric and Jean Cass’s spectacular modernist Surrey home, is one of the most unique and significant collections of modern and contemporary art in the country and totals over £4 million.
In 2012, the Contemporary Art Society invited seven UK-based museums to research Eric and Jean Cass’s donation and to pitch to receive clusters of works that complement or enliven their current collections. The museums proposed works by artists including Karel Appel, Michael Craig-Martin, Barbara Hepworth, Joan Miro, Henry Moore, Victor Pasmore, Eduardo Paolozzi, Pablo Picasso and Niki de Saint-Phalle.
Gifts also included 16 works by Zadok Ben-David to Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, a ceramic figure by Christie Brown to York Art Gallery, a limewood sculpture by Malcolm Martin & Gaynor Dowling to Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery, a sculpture by Bryan Kneale to Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Lakeland Arts Trust, a paper work by Pavlos to Bury Art Museum and a Japanese woodblock print by Suzuki Harunobu to Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle. All works were gratefully received by the participating museums and galleries, and so far to date the Eric & Jean Cass Gift has distributed 134 works to over 20 public museums and galleries. In 2023 Jean Cass gifted the porcelain figure Celia by Bjørn Wiinblad from the estate of her late husband Eric Cass (1922-2018) which was presented by the Contemporary Art Society to Tullie House and Museum, Carlisle.