Wilfred Cass

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Wilfred Cass CBE FRSA (born November 11, 1924) co-founded the Cass Sculpture Foundation.[1]


Wilfred was born in Berlin and comes from the famous Jewish Cassirer family. His great uncle, Paul Cassirer, was an important dealer for the impressionists in Europe. His grandfather was Richard Cassirer, the famous German brain surgeon and his other great uncles included a publisher, industrialist and the philosopher, Ernst Cassirer.

After the war, Wilfred worked as junior research engineer for Telephone Rentals in Knightsbridge, London (1946-7) before embarking on an HND in Communication Technology at the Regent Street Polytechnic in London between 1947-51.[2]

In 1979, Wilfred and his son, Mark, set up Image Bank UK - part of The Image Bank and this company was successfully sold to Getty Images in 2001.

In 1987 Wilfred became Chairman and Chief Executive of Moss Bros Plc where he reorganised the whole of the troubled group including moving and selling its head office, starting up a new range of Suit Shops and buying Cecil Gee Plc. He remained at the company until 1991.

Upon retiring from Moss Bros in 1992, Wilfred moved to West Sussex from London where he co-founded the registered charity, The Cass Sculpture Foundation (previously known as Sculpture at Goodwood) in 1992. Over the next year, they visited some thirty sculpture parks around the world before deciding upon the style, aim and design of their own estate. Long-term friends of Henry Moore and Elisabeth Frink, Wilfred and Jeannette sold their own personal collection of Moores, Frinks and Ayrtons, which they had bought directly from these artists, to fund the creation of their park.

Based in Goodwood, West Sussex, the charitable foundation's aim and consistent focus is to promote and advance British sculpture to a global audience and through a vigorous programme of commissioning, funding and marketing, the Foundation has enabled the fabrication of 150 major new works by leading British artists. In 1996, the charity won the National Art Collections Fund prize for "Promoting Enjoyment of the Visual Arts".

Cass was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) on 17 June 2006.[3]

In April 2008 Cass was awarded an honorary degree from the Open University as Doctor of the University.[4]

In 2014, aged 90, Wilfred lives in the grounds of the Cass Sculpture Foundation's sculpture park in Goodwood, near Chichester, West Sussex, with his wife Jeannette.

Portraits of Wilfred Cass[edit]

The National Portrait Gallery collection includes a portrait of Wilfred and Jeannette Cass by Anne-Katrin Purkiss.[5] In 2008 Cass sat for a portrait sculpture in terracotta[6] by Jon Edgar which is in the collection of the sitter and was exhibited at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2013[7] as part of the Sculpture Series Heads.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Wilfred Cass, co-founder of the Cass Sculpture Foundation, is 90!". http://www.cassone-art.com/. Cassone. Retrieved 20 January 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  2. ^ "CV of Wilfred Cass CBE FRSA". Cass Sculpture. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  3. ^ "Birthday honours: list in full". London: The Independent. 2006-06-17. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  4. ^ "CV of Wilfred Cass CBE FRSA". Cass Sculpture. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  5. ^ National Portrait Gallery - Person - Wilfred Cass
  6. ^ portrait of Wilfred Cass
  7. ^ http://www.ysp.co.uk/exhibitions/jon-edgar-sculpture-series-heads
  8. ^ Sculpture Series Heads - Terracotta Portraits of Contributors to British Sculpture (2013) Hall, P., Scott, M. & Pheby, H. ISBN 978 0 9558675 1 4

See also[edit]