Dr Thomas Frangenberg (b. Germany 1957-d. London, UK 2018), with a PhD from the University of Cologne was a distinguished historian of Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture, and a lecturer in art history at the University of Leicester between 1990 and 2017. He was also a well-known collector of contemporary art haviing gained an intimate knowledge of the London art scene from the early 1980s, soon after he arrived in England from Germany. His collection predominantly comprised ideas-based, ‘conceptual’ artworks produced in London from the mid-1970s. Frangenberg was an exemplary collector in that his passions tended towards a profound commitment to a circle of artists who he bought in depth. He became a friend to the artists he collected, a uniquely engaged patron of the arts, as interested in conversation with the creator as with buying their work. Never blessed with enormous means to indulge his collecting, he bought modestly but shrewdly, and the affection and regard with which he is still held today reflect the integrity of his way of operating.
He left several important works to Tate and the Contemporary Art Society, having been on its executive committee in 1990s and a notable buyer for the CAS in 2005, as well as to friends and family. However, the vast bulk of his collection, numbering more than 750 works including paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings and photographs, were donated to Wolfson College, Cambridge by Frangenberg's executors, his brother Andreas and sister-in-law Rita Frangenberg. Several Turner-Prize winners, many nominees and a host of other internationally and nationally celebrated artists are represented in the collection which was exhibited at the college between 19 January to 8 March 2020.