The Art Fund helps to bring original Beckford cabinet home

  • 23 April 2008

The Art Fund is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of an original William Beckford wall cabinet for Beckford's Tower & Museum.

After nine months of fundraising the Beckford Tower Trust has successfully raised the £64,000 required to purchase the cabinet and return it to the Bath house for which it was originally designed. This was made possible with a £25,000 grant from The Art Fund, alongside grants from the MLA /V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund and many personal donations.

David Barrie, Director of The Art Fund, said: “I am delighted that this elegant Greek revival cabinet, which so perfectly reflects the tastes of William Beckford, can now return to the house for which it was designed - Lansdown Tower. The Tower, now Beckford’s Tower and Museum, will house his collection of rare books in the cabinet, fulfilling his original intention for this exceptional piece of 19th Century furniture.”

Originally designed by William Beckford and the Bath architect H. E. Goodridge, the cabinet was made c.1828 and left Bath in 1848 when it was moved to a private collection. The cabinet can now be seen on display at Beckford’s Tower & Museum, alongside other examples of William Beckford’s extensive and impressive collection of original furniture, paintings, prints and objects that illustrate his life as a writer, collector and patron of the arts.

Today, the Tower is an extraordinary building that stands as the only surviving example of William Beckford’s great architectural achievements.

Beckford’s Tower & Museum, Lansdown Road, Bath, is open on Saturdays, Sundays & Bank Holidays Mondays from Easter until the end of October, 10.30am- 5pm.

Related links:

Beckford’s Tower and Museum

Notes to editors:
1. The Art Fund is the UK’s leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collection; campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art.
2. It is entirely funded from public donations and has 80,000 members. Since 1903 the charity has helped museums and galleries all over the UK secure 860,000 works of art for their collections.
3. Recent achievements include: helping secure Anthony d’Offay’s collection, ARTIST ROOMS, for Tate and National Galleries of Scotland in February 2008 with a grant of £1million; putting together a unique funding package to ensure Dumfries House in Ayrshire and its contents were secured intact for the nation in July 2007; and running the ‘Buy a Brushstroke’ public appeal which raised over £550,000 to keep Turner’s Blue Rigi watercolour in the UK.
For more information contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit