Art Fund announces new funding for conservation, and further initiatives

  • 17 June 2019

Today we announced a new fund supporting the conservation of works in museum and gallery collections, as well as further investment for smaller projects.

Larry Keith, director of conservation at the National Gallery, conserving Self-Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria by Artemisia Gentileschi The National Gallery, London

Larry Keith, director of conservation at the National Gallery, conserving Self-Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria by Artemisia Gentileschi

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The National Gallery, London

Art Fund has announced a new, dedicated conservation scheme for public museums, galleries and historic houses, made possible thanks to the generosity of Art Fund donors and members.

The new scheme is specifically designed to help give newly acquired works any conservation treatment they require, as well as to enable existing works to come out of storage and be prepared for public display.

It is solely dedicated to conservation, allowing for a proportion of support for display and public engagement.

Applications for the new, dedicated conservation fund will open from 28 July 2019. In the last year alone, Art Fund has given £355,000 in grants dedicated to conservation, including major restorations of works by Artemisia Gentileschi, Lubaina Himid and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Alongside this we have also announced that our small project grants – seed funding of up to £10,000 for museum and gallery projects – will be open from late July.

These two initiatives join the four other programmes and services for museums and galleries we have launched to date in 2019. These include the Headley Fellowships with Art Fund, Curatorial Network Grants, Art Tickets and Art Fund & AAMC Foundation Travel Fellowships.

Today we also shared highlights from our Art Fund in 2019 report:

  • Our membership has grown by 8.5% in the last year, to 151,000 members – a doubling in the last decade
  • In 2018, Art Fund awarded £4.9m in grants
  • Over 400 works of art and objects went to 78 organisations across the UK
  • 80% of our grants go to organisations outside of London

Applications for our conservation grants and small project grants will open in July 2019. You can find out more about our work over the past year at artfund.org/af19.

Art Fund chairman, Lord Smith of Finsbury, said: ‘Museums and galleries are vital spaces for society. That’s why we support them in doing more for everyone, everywhere.

‘We’re proud to be providing new funding towards the conservation of objects in UK collections, to help unlock new stories about these objects and improve collections care and display. We’re entirely supported by our 151,000 members who buy the National Art Pass, as well as the generosity of many trusts, foundations and other individuals. This growing community shares our vision to help UK museums and champion them at every level.’