Charity helps Louth Museum buy local landscape

  • 11 November 2008

A 19th century watercolour of an idyllic Louth landscape by Lincolnshire artist Peter DeWint has been bought by Louth Museum thanks to a substantial grant from The Art Fund, the UK's leading independent art charity.

The Art Fund, which is entirely funded by its 80,000 members and donations, gave the museum £12,000 towards the purchase of the watercolour. A local benefactor donated a further £4,200 to the total price.

In 2006 The Art Fund helped the Museum buy three other DeWints painted in East Lincolnshire: two watercolours, Harvesting on the Lincolnshire Wolds and West Fen; and an oil painting, A Bank at Red Hill Quarry near Goulceby.

The Ford near Louth is an important addition to Louth Museum’s collection as it is the only DeWint watercolour directly attributed to the Louth area. The pastoral scene shows horses and a wagon crossing a ford on their way to Louth, the church spire in the distance, and shepherds droving sheep.

David Barrie, Director of The Art Fund, said: "In a period when British landscape painting was flourishing, De Wint made a distinctive contribution with his watercolours. DeWint was a Lincolnshire man, so The Ford near Louth is a very fitting acquisition for the Louth Museum and I am delighted that The Art Fund was able to help them secure this fine work."

David Robinson OBE, Society President of Louth Naturalists’, Antiquarian and Literary Society which operates Louth Museum, said "Peter DeWint's The Ford near Louth is a wonderful evocation of the early 19th century Lincolnshire Wolds landscape on the turnpike from Lincoln (now the A157). Without the grant from The Art Fund the Society would never have been able even to contemplate the purchase of the painting."

Peter DeWint spent much of his life in Lincolnshire; the county’s panoramic landscapes gave him rich subject matter for his harvesting, river and town scenes. His oils and watercolours were exhibited at the Royal Academy in London and offer a valuable and accurate illustration of life in 19th century England.

The Ford near Louth was purchased through The Art Fund’s ‘Enriching Regions’ scheme. The scheme was set up in 2006, supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, to help UK regions most in need of support to acquire art for their collections.

The Ford near Louth will first be displayed on temporary exhibition when Louth Museum reopens in April 2009, and will be used as an illustration in a forthcoming book on Louth carpets.

Louth Museum is open April–October, Tuesday–Saturday, 10am–4pm.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

About The Art Fund:

The Art Fund is the UK’s leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collections; it campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art. 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. Recent achievements include: helping secure Anthony d’Offay’s collection, ARTIST ROOMS, for Tate and the 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 www.artfund.org

For more information about The Art Fund, its grants to Louth Museum and an image of The Ford near Louth, please contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit www.artfund.org

About Esmee Fairbairn Foundation:

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK. Their aim is to improve the quality of life throughout the UK. They do this by funding the charitable activities of organisations that have the ideas and ability to achieve change for the better. They take pride in supporting work that might otherwise be considered difficult to fund. Their primary interests are in the UK's cultural life, education, the natural environment and enabling people who are disadvantaged to participate more fully in society. In 2008 they expect to make grants of approximately £30 million across the UK. For further information please visit www.esmeefairbairn.org.uk

For information about the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation please visit http://www.esmeefairbairn.org.uk/