Art Fund and Garfield Weston announce latest round of exhibitions supported by the Weston Loan Programme

William Hogarth, The March of the Guards to Finchley, 1749-1750
William Hogarth, The March of the Guards to Finchley, 1749-1750, oil on canvas © The Foundling Museum, London

Treasures from the nation’s collections – including a gladiator’s helmet excavated at Pompeii, celebrated works by Hogarth, and fine Italian Renaissance portraiture – will travel to museums across the UK through the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund.

Art Fund and Garfield Weston Foundation have announced the latest round of exhibitions to be supported by the Weston Loan Programme – the first UK-wide grant programme designed to directly fund and empower smaller museums to borrow major works from national or major lending museums and galleries.  

At a time of increasing pressure on museum finances the scheme supports practical costs associated with the display of nationally important works in places across the UK, often where they have a particular relevance for local audiences. The 13 new recipients include: Grantown Museum in the Highlands, for an exhibition on the area’s influence on the Victorian painter Edward Landseer; The Box in Plymouth, for their celebration of the tricentenary of Joshua Reynolds who lived in Plymouth for a time; and North Hertfordshire Museum, for a show examining works created by the Camden Town Group in nearby Letchworth Garden City. 

Highlights of loans made possible through the programme, now in its fifth year, include: 

More than 20 gladiatorial objects held by the British Museum, including the incredible Pompeii Murmillo gladiator helmet, which will be displayed at Colchester’s castle in its inaugural year as a city. 

Richard Dadd’s ‘Portrait of a Young Man’, on loan from Tate, will return to the Hospital in which it was painted – specifically, to Bethlem Museum of the Mind, located at the heart of Bethlem Royal Hospital in Beckenham. In his youth a rising star at the Royal Academy, Dadd spent over 40 years in high secure hospital environments labouring under murderous delusions that had led to the tragic death of his father.  

Works by Hogarth, including the National Gallery’s Marriage-a-la-Mode and the Foundling Museum’s The March of the Guards to Finchley, will be displayed at Derby Museum and Art Gallery alongside iconic portraits of the Stuarts from the National Portrait Gallery. Allan Ramsay’s newly discovered portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stuart painted in Edinburgh will be on loan from Scottish National Galleries – the first time this work has returned to Derby since 1745. 

A total of £295,190 has been awarded in this round, bringing the total so far to almost £1.3 million across 78 organisations since the scheme began in 2017. 

The Weston Loan Programme has been shown to dramatically boost visitor numbers to smaller institutions – by an average of 40% pre-pandemic – and significantly widens the lending pool of objects from major collections. Its support has helped dozens of museums realise exhibitions with funding for transportation, conservation and training.  

The programme not only widens access to objects from major collections for audiences across the country, but also aims to strengthen the skills of museum professionals, and distribute resources across the UK. 

Sophia Weston, Trustee of the Garfield Weston Foundation, said: 'It is wonderful to see these precious objects and fantastic works of art go to regional galleries and museums across the UK where they can be seen in a new light by new audiences. So many of these exhibitions explore heritage and culture connected to their local area. Enabling smaller organisations to tell these important stories in an ambitious way is central to the aims of the programme.' 

Art Fund’s Director, Jenny Waldman, said: 'We’re so pleased that Weston Loan Programme has been able to support these exciting exhibitions that have real relevance to their local audiences. We know that these organisations sit at the heart of the places they serve and we are grateful to our partner, Garfield Weston Foundation, for their generosity in supporting this programme that has benefitted 78 organisations and their communities over the past seven years.'

Exhibitions supported by the latest round of the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund include (in chronological order): 

Those Remarkable Carlines 

Burgh House, Hampstead 

Open until 10 April 2023 

Celebrating the work of the talented Carline siblings, Sydney, Hilda and Richard, in the first public exhibition in over 40 years to focus on these accomplished and influential artists. The Carlines lived and worked in Hampstead and their family home in the interwar years was a nexus for a glamorous artistic social group including Paul and John Nash, Stanley Spencer and Henry Lamb. 

Title TBC

Bethlem Museum of the Mind, Beckenham 

22 February – 17 June 2023 

Portraits of those with lived experience of mental distress will be juxtaposed with portraits of clinicians and carers in this exhibition which includes Richard Dadd’s Portrait of a Young Man (on loan from the Tate). 

Hogarth’s Britons: Succession, Patriotism, and the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion 

Derby Museum and Art Gallery 

10 March – 4 June 2023 

Hogarth’s Britons will explore how the artist defined British nationhood and identity at a time of division and rebellion at home and conflict abroad, in the first Hogarth exhibition to be staged in Derby. The exhibition brings together major loans from National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery and Scottish National Galleries amongst others alongside items from Derby Museums and private collections in Derbyshire. 

In Her Own Voice: the Art of Lucy Kemp-Welch (1869-1958) 

Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth, and National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket 

April 2023 – Oct 2023 and Oct 2023 – Feb 2024 

From 1890s to 1920s Lucy Kemp-Welch was one of the country's best-known female artists. An expert horsewoman with an innate understanding of her equine subjects, this major retrospective of her works will be the first to highlight her significance, especially as a painter of horses, since her death more than 60 years ago. 

Landseer – A Highland Romance 

Grantown Museum, Grantown-on-Spey 

1 May – 30 September 2023  

Grantown Museum explores the fascinating world of the celebrated Victorian artist Edward Landseer, whose work was dramatically transformed by his time in the Cairngorms. The exhibition considers Landseer’s place in 19th century society, including Queen Victoria’s patronage, and the ways in which he captured a zeitgeist that would popularise a romantic notion of the Highlands to this day. 

Painted Love: Renaissance Marriage Portraits  

The Holburne Museum, Bath 

26 May 2023 – 1 October 2023 

This exhibition on the role of portraiture in marriage in Renaissance Europe features significant loans from institutions including The National Gallery, the V&A, The Royal Collection, The Ashmolean Museum and English Heritage; with The National Gallery’s  Leonello d'Este by Giovanni da Oriolo a highlight of the works on display. 

Gwen John: Art and Life in London and Paris 

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester 

14 May – 8 October 2023 

This is the first major exhibition to place Gwen John (1876-1939) in relation to the art worlds of London and Paris, two cities in which she chose to live and work. 

Reynolds Reframed: A Celebration 

The Box, Plymouth 

24 June – 29 October 2023 

Staged to coincide with the 300th anniversary of the birth of Sir Joshua Reynolds in Plympton, just outside Plymouth. Reynolds established his first portrait studio in Plymouth Dock (now Devonport), and the exhibition will explore his studio practice as well as his early career in Devon. Reynolds’ contemporary legacy will be highlighted through a creative collaboration with Royal Academician, Rana Begum. 

Gladiators: A Day At The Roman Games  

Colchester Castle  

15 July 2023 to 14 January 2024 

Taking place during Colchester’s inaugural year as a city, this exploration of the daily reality for Roman gladiators living in the area 2000 years ago brings together objects from Colchester + Ipswich Museums Service with significant objects held by the British Museum, including the incredible Pompeii Murmillo gladiator helmet. 

Camden Town to Garden City; the Letchworth paintings of Gilman, Gore and Ratcliffe 

North Hertfordshire Museum, Hitchin 

March – June 2024 

This exhibition looks at paintings made by three members of the Camden Town Group during their time in the new Garden City of Letchworth before World War One. The exhibition shows how these artists reacted to this bright new town with its many bohemian inhabitants, and includes Gilman's portraits of Garden City women which have not been on display in the area before.  

Beyond the easel: Rediscovering Dagenham's forgotten artist 

Valence House Museum, Dagenham 

6 July – 30 Nov 2024 

Shining the spotlight on Dagenham’s first professional artist Henry Gillard Glindoni – successful during his lifetime but now largely forgotten. Preparatory sketches held by Valence House will be displayed alongside works borrowed from national institutions. 

Major exhibitions at Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, and The Burrell Collection in Glasgow have also been supported in the round, with details to be announced soon.

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