A visitor to the Tate Gallery in London admires one of the three marble originals of Auguste Rodin's 'The Kiss' (Le Baiser)

120 years of Art Fund

Founded in 1903, Art Fund has been bringing people and museums together to share in great art and culture for 120 years. During that time, we’ve helped museums across the UK build their collections, keep them accessible to the public, and do so much more to inspire their audiences.

Two children and an adult crouch by the side of a pond, exploring the wild life that contained within it
Visitors take part in the British Library’s ‘Animal Adventures’ event, part of The Wild Escape, a project led by Art Fund

Art Fund is the charity that connects museums, people and art

For 120 years, we’ve been helping museums and people to share in great art and culture – because we believe that access to art is vital for a healthy society.  

We do three things, all intertwined.

We fund art, helping the UK’s museums to enrich their collections for today and forever.  

We build audiences, with our National Art Pass opening doors to great culture.  

And we amplify the museum sector, through our Museum of the Year award and creative events that bring the UK’s museums together.

Zorian Clayton inspects a print in a room surrounded by various different artworks
Zorian Clayton, curator of prints at the V&A, works on a project supported by a New Collecting Award.

How we work

Everything we do is made possible by our 135,000 members, who buy the National Art Pass, as well as the support of trusts, foundations, partner funders, and donors. 

We have been an independent membership organisation from the very beginning, when, in 1903, the activist Christiana Herringham organised a new fund to help make sure that great art would be in public collections, open to everyone.  

Our independence allows us to pursue what matters most, led by what museums tell us they need.

Two children displaying artworks they have created
The Wild Escape Workshop at Tate Modern

Our advocacy

We believe that access to art is vital for a healthy society.

Beyond the funding and other support we offer museums, we work hard to advocate for their importance in society – from commissioning research to lobbying government on issues that matter to the sector.

We are committed to supporting the museum sector in improving access to art for all. You can read our statement on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, as well as our Statement on Environmental Sustainability.

A visitor attends Art Assembly 2022, a one-day festival organised by Art Fund and some of Manchester’s leading arts organisations.
A visitor attends Art Assembly 2022, a one-day festival organised by Art Fund and some of Manchester’s leading arts organisations.

Our people

As a team we are enthusiastic about the power of art to expand people’s lives.  

Our board of trustees oversees the direction of Art Fund and considers all major grant applications and gifts and bequests of art. 

The day-to-day running of the charity is in the hands of our senior management team, supported by our hard-working staff.

Two people stand in the garden room in the Barbican Centre
Student Art Pass, Toyin Ojih Odutola, 'A Countervailing Theory', Barbican Centre, London, October 2020

Ways to work with us

If you’re passionate about connecting museums, people and art, there are lots of ways to get involved with Art Fund.

Job opportunities
Help us with our mission – join our friendly and supportive team. Browse our current vacancies to see if there’s an opportunity for you.
Partner with us
We often work in partnership with other funders, trusts and foundations to support the museum sector. If you’re interested in working together, we’d love to hear from you.
Become an Art Partner
Our Art Partners are our closest supporters – a special group of art enthusiasts united by a desire to see, celebrate and support museums and galleries across the UK.
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