Studio International

Published 07/12/2006

The Koestler Trust, founded by the late Arthur Koestler, provided great sanctuary for numerous prisoners over a period of 45 years, giving hope through encouraging the creative force of art. Many artists received a call, in his time, from the late judge Stephen Tumim, who worked ceaselessly towards the end of his life to extend the reach of the Trust. Arthur Koestler had himself set up the Trust with the operational backing of the Home Office. In mid-September of this year, the Koestler 2006 public showing of work carried out by prisoners under the scheme, being the 45th showing of its kind, took place in St Mary Abbots Hall, London. The exhibition ran until 5 October. There were close on 1,000 exhibits hung and prize money of £32,500 was distributed as widely as possible. The quality of the work was remarkably high this year. When Koestler committed suicide in 1984, he left only £10,000, but had got the Fund up and running.