Cass Sculpture Foundation was founded in 1992 by Wilfred and Jeannette Cass. Their mission was to provide support for artists to achieve new levels of ambition in the field of large-scale sculpture. The result was a pioneering not-for-profit organisation that inspired, enabled and presented the output of some of the most important figures in contemporary sculpture.
CASS was a multifaceted organisation with a rich heritage. It consisted of a commissioning body, a centre for education and exhibition programming and was a provider of consultancy services.
Passionately committed to nurturing new as well as established talent, the organisation commissioned new works every year. The 26 acre grounds were consequently home to a constantly evolving display that included sculptures by Anthony Caro, Eduardo Paolozzi, Rachel Whiteread, Tony Cragg, Antony Gormley and Sara Barker amongst others. CASS supported its commissioned artists at every step of the process, from conception to fabrication, exhibition and sale. As such, it provided exceptional opportunities for sculptors in the UK as well as internationally, and at varying stages in their careers.
CASS was funded by sculpture sales, consultancy and philanthropy. All the works on display were available for sale, with proceeds split equally between the artist and the organisation in order to fund new commissions. In the past 28 years, CASS has invested in almost 300 Artists.
The CASS commissioning process has become a widely emulated model. Appealing to companies and public institutions alike, CASS has project-managed commissions in London, Hong Kong and Singapore and consulted on the development of sculpture parks in China, India and Norway.
In London, CASS established the commissioning process and commissioned the first three sculptures on the Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square from 1999. As part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, CASS organised and curated Tony Cragg’s first large-scale solo exhibition along Exhibition Road. The project was delivered in partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum.
Tony Cragg, Versus, 2012