Sir Adam Butler (1931 – 2008)
The Courtauld Institute of Art is deeply saddened by the
death on Wednesday 9th January of Sir Adam Butler, former
Chairman of the Samuel Courtauld Trust, and grandson of our
founder Samuel Courtauld.
Sir Adam, whose career after national and territorial army service started in the family firm, was elected MP for Bosworth, Leicestershire, in 1970 and served in the Edward Heath administration before becoming PPS to Margaret Thatcher in 1975. When the Conservatives came to power under her leadership in 1979 he held a series of ministerial positions, including in the Department of Industry, the Northern Ireland Office and Defense Procurement. He stood down as a minister in 1985 and left politics two years later to follow other pursuits – including the Samuel Courtauld Trust and its predecessor body, the Home House Society. Sir Adam joined the Home House Society in 1976 and served as Chairman of the Samuel Courtauld Trust from its inception in 1989 until 2005. He was an effective and highly conscientious Chairman, and was passionate about the Courtauld collection and those other collections then in the care of the Trust. He was particularly concerned to fully realize Samuel Courtauld’s wish that the collection should benefit a wide and international public and was delighted that the move to Somerset House made the Courtauld Gallery more publicly visible and visited. He will be greatly missed as a friend and colleague.