Terence Bacon and John Oldham are long-standing patrons of the museum and have collected works by well-known studio potters including Dame Lucie Rie (1902-95), Angus Suttie (1946-93) and Alison Britton (b.1948).
However, the majority of the works that will go on display at the gallery is a collection of 43 pots by John Ward (b.1938).
The gallery said this collection of Ward’s work is “one of the most significant in private hands, and features examples of the forms developed by Ward over 50 years”.
Other artworks in the bequest are paintings and works on paper by British artists such as Craigie Aitchison, Leeds-born Trevor Bell (1930-2017), Sir Terry Frost (1915-2003), Rose Hilton (1931-2019) and Euan Uglow (1932-2000).
Simon Wallis, director of The Hepworth Wakefield, said: “John and Terry have been wonderfully supportive of The Hepworth Wakefield since its earliest days. Their impeccable art collection has developed from their friendships with artists and their deep longstanding passion for art matches perfectly with the remit of The Hepworth Wakefield’s role to engage diverse audiences with the creative and inspiring power of art.
“Philanthropic gifts play a vital role in helping us continue to build on the legacy of Wakefield’s ambitious and forward-thinking art collecting, which began in 1930s and has always included British ceramics.”
Bacon added: “We can think of no better home for our art collection than The Hepworth Wakefield, an organisation we have long admired and which has introduced us to many new artists over the years.”