Published: 10:36, 01 April 2020
| Updated: 11:59, 01 April 2020
A campaign to save the Kent house and garden of a visionary artist and activist has reached its target in what has been described as the biggest arts fundraising campaign in history.
The appeal to rescue Prospect Cottage in Dungeness, which belonged to artist, filmmaker and LGBT icon Derek Jarman, was launched in January by Art Fund.
The campaign aimed to raise £3.5 million to preserve what a spokesman described as a "sanctuary of art and imagination", and prevent it from being sold off privately.
On its last day of fundraising yesterday, the total stood at £3,624,087 raised with donations from 8,119 people from 40 different countries.
Jarman, who died in 1994, is thought to be one of the most influential figures in 20th-century British culture.
He moved to the cottage, which sits in the shadow of the power station, in 1986 following his diagnosis of HIV and lived there until his death in 1994.
Among a great number of supporters was award-winning costume designer Sandy Powell, who auctioned a suit that she wore to the BAFTA and Oscar ceremonies this year.
The cream calico suit, covered in signature from celebrities including Lonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Scarlett Johansson and more, sold for £16,000 at an online auction.
Ms Powell was a close friend and protegee of Derek Jarman, as was fellow celebrity Tilda Swinton, who also played a major role in the campaign.
The 'Doctor Strange' star thanked the thousands of supporters in a statement on the campaign's fundraising page.
She said: "When Derek initiated the project of making of this little house on the shingle the unique and magically empowering space it has come to be, not only for him, but for so many of us, it was at a time of intense uncertainty and fragility in his own life.
"I am profoundly moved and grateful for the unmistakable triumph of fellowship and spirit that this answered call represents.
"We have not only preserved the flame but forged a new community in the process.
"What could be more perfect a gesture in Derek’s name – or a happier arrow to cast ahead."
According to Art Fund, Creative Folketone will now become the custodians and curators of the cottage, while Jarman’s Dungeness archive will be housed at Tate Britain and made publicly available for the first time later this year.
A statement from Art Fund read: "Thank you for joining us and being a part of this extraordinary movement.
"With support coming in from over 40 countries around the world, #SaveProspectCottage has become the biggest ever arts crowdfunding initiative.
"That this has been achieved at such a difficult time for the world is all the more remarkable.
"Against adversity, it has been a true expression of optimism and public will, and is a cause for celebration."