Donate to help unlock the potential of museums’ collections

Conservator undertaking work on The Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I (c1590) at Royal Museums Greenwich, 2017 Conservator undertaking work on The Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I (c1590) at Royal Museums Greenwich, 2017

Uncover histories and tell new stories

Most museums have works in store that require conservation before they can be displayed. But in today’s difficult financial climate, very little money is available to prepare them for public display.

As demand increases for funds to restore and protect objects and works of art, help us bring overlooked works out of the shadows and ensure they’re seen by generations to come.

Opening up new experiences for audiences from Middlesbrough to Dundee - Here are some of the conservation projects we've recently helped to make happen

Unlocking new stories

Lubaina Himid, Toussaint L'Ouverture (1987), acquired for Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art in 2018 with Art Fund support

Thanks to a grant we made towards the conservation of this mixed-media piece, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art were able to clean this fragile work and create a suitable t-frame to protect it – enabling the gallery to continue sparking conversations around black history.

Conservator Richard Hawkes undertaking work on Toussaint L’Ouverture (1987) by Lubaina
Himid at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, 2018. Image courtesy Richard Hawkes ACR, Artworks Conservation

Restoring momentous design

Charles Rennie Mackintosh, The Oak Room. Conserved, restored and reassembled with Art Fund support

Reassembled, restored and conserved, a major project to redisplay a complete Charles Rennie Mackintosh tearoom interior means it can be seen for the first time in nearly 50 years. Designed in 1907, the Oak Room - which includes the stunning oak panelling and leaded purple glass windows – will sit proudly in the V&A Dundee, opening September 2018.


Fragment of stained glass © Ross Fraser McLean

Unveiling hidden treasures

Valerio Castello, Tobias Healing the Blind Tobit (1650), acquired for Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, in 2016 with Art Fund support

Kept from display due to its poor condition, this work, previously on long-term loan, was brought out of the shadows thanks to our grant towards its acquisition, which included funds for a conservation programme.

Exhibited in 2017 for the first time since 1973, it helped Ferens Art Gallery capitalise on renewed local and national interest in its important Italian Renaissance and baroque collection.


Valerio Castello, Tobias Healing the Blind Tobit, c1650, Ferens Art Gallery, Art Funded 2016

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