11 DECEMBER 1964, Page 12

SIR,—It will be a pity if a misstatement in Mr.

Wallis's article on 'Art at Oxford' in your Christmas issue (with the general line taken in which I heartily agree) is not corrected. The Ashmolean Museum is not precluded, except by lack of resources, from accepting contemporary works. We have an ex- cellent, though still too small, collection of con- temporary Japanese prints, acquired partly by gift, but partly by purchase. This happens to be one of the fields in which prices are still. comparatively modest. We have fairly recently bought some modern European drawings. But the funds set aside for new acquisitions of any kind are quite inadequate—this is, I suppose, a handicap from which every univer- sity museum suffers; and it is much easier to raise money to buy established than contemporary works. What we need is a benefaction which must be spent on the work of the last ten years. I hope some of your readers may be feeling in generous mood.

Lincoln College, Oxford