Increased support to museums and galleries

  • 26 June 2012

Due to a 20% rise in membership of the Art Fund through sales of the National Art Pass, we are delighted to report that we have been able to commit £6 million to the purchase of works of art over the last year.

Thanks to our 92,000 members, we are now doing more than ever to support museums and galleries.

In that last year, not only awarded our largest ever grant for a work of art - for the acquisition of Titian’s masterpiece Diana and Callisto for the National Gallery and the National Galleries of Scotland, but the rise in membership has enabled us to continue to expand our support for museums in other ways, including: running fundraising appeals; earlier this year we successfully campaigned to buy Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle for the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich; supporting the development of curators, lobbying for tax incentives to encourage lifetime giving of art to museums, and supporting exciting new collections through our funding initiatives Art Fund International, Art Fund Collect and Renew. We have also announced the formation of an important collection of Middle Eastern photography that we have supported. The major collection of works will be jointly owned by the British Museum and the V&A and begins to remedy the under-representation of Middle Eastern photography in UK collections.

Highlights of works of art we’ve helped buy

We’ve been able to support the acquisition of many important works of art over the past year across a range of different media. Here are a few of our favourites:

• Titian's Diana and Callisto, jointly acquired by the National Gallery, London and National Galleries of Scotland
Hepworth Family Gift consisting of the model for Barbara Hepworth’s celebrated sculpture Winged Figure given to the Hepworth Wakefield
St Cuthbert Gospel, the oldest entact book in Europe dating from the 7th century for the British Library
• Bassetti's The Dead Christ supported by the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene, 1616 for the Fitzwilliam Museum
• A 5,000 year-old cycladic figure for the British Museum
• A portrait of American Vogue Editor Anna Wintour by Alex Katz for the National Portrait Gallery
• Rachel Whiteread’s first permanent sculpture for the Whitechapel Gallery, Tree of Life