World-leading collections to be shared with local communities

A visitor at Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance

More people will experience inspiring art on their doorsteps through new projects supported by Art Fund, announced today.

Today we announce the latest recipients of the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund, which helps smaller museums to borrow major works from national or major lending museums and galleries, as well as the organisations who will be partners in the development phase of our new collaborative touring programme, Going Places.

The two schemes will see museums and galleries across the UK forging new partnerships to share their world-leading collections with local communities.

Twelve regional galleries and museums – from Pier Arts Centre in Orkney to The MAC in Belfast and York Army Museum – have been awarded grants for new exhibitions through the latest round of the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund, supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation, with major loans from national institutions including the National Portrait Gallery and Tate.

And 23 arts and heritage organisations have been selected to take part in the development phase of Art Fund’s Going Places – a new UK-wide programme that will engage underrepresented audiences with museum collections through collaborative touring exhibitions, with lead support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

New exhibitions supported by the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund

The 12 new recipients of the Weston Loan Programme include: Nottingham Contemporary for the first major retrospective on Black British artist Donald Rodney; The Granary Gallery, Maltings (Berwick) Trust for an exhibition exploring Lowry’s lifelong fascination with the sea; and Petersfield Museum and Art Gallery for an exhibition telling the little-known story of American art collector Peggy Guggenheim’s time living near Petersfield.

Highlights of loans made possible through the programme include: Jane Austen’s writing desk travelling to God’s House Tower in Southampton as part of a celebration of the writer’s 250th birthday; seascapes by LS Lowry on show in Berwick where the artist was a regular visitor, capturing the town’s views of the North Sea; and two 14th-century ewers (lidded jugs) which travelled via trade routes to Kumasi and the Asante court in southern Ghana, which are being loaned by the British Museum for an exhibition at York Army Museum.

A total of £308,606 has been awarded in this round, bringing the total so far to almost £1.6 million across 93 organisations since the scheme began in 2017.

Full list of exhibitions

Donald Rodney: Visceral Canker
Spike Island, Bristol (24 May – 8 September 2024)
Nottingham Contemporary (28 September 2024 – 5 January 2025)
Whitechapel Gallery, London (February – May 2025)

Lowry and the Sea
The Granary Gallery, Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland
25 May – 13 October 2024

Peggy Guggenheim: Petersfield to Palazzo
Petersfield Museum and Art Gallery
15 June – 5 October 2024

Mary Robinson: Actress, Mistress, Writer, Radical
Chawton House, Hampshire
2 September 2024 – 21 April 2025

I See His Blood Upon the Rose
The MAC, Belfast
November 2024 – March 2025

Jane Austen’s 250th anniversary year
God’s House Tower, Southampton
November 2024 until February 2025

Sheila Fell: Cumberland on Canvas
Tullie, Carlisle
23 November 2024 – 15 March 2025

Bet Low Centenary Exhibition
Pier Arts Centre, Stromness
January – June 2025

All Creatures Great and Small, Turner’s Birds and Beasts
Turner's House, Twickenham
July – November 2025

Object Journeys 
York Army Museum
September 2025 – February 2026

Major displays at Kirkcudbright Galleries and the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum have also been supported in the round, with details to be announced soon.

New networks established as part of Going Places

Organisations taking part in the development phase of this new programme span the breadth of the UK, from the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum to Inverness Museum & Art Gallery, Tŷ Pawb in Wrexham and Penlee House Gallery & Museum in Penzance.

Seven networks have been established to develop plans for two touring exhibitions over five years. Local communities will be involved in shaping exhibition themes and outreach programming and will bring their voices to each display by reinterpreting collections to tell new stories. If Art Fund is successful with a subsequent delivery phase application to The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and with further fundraising, the networks will go on to produce their exhibitions with audiences across the country from 2025 to 2030.

One network of organisations from each devolved nation (Carmarthenshire Museums; Inverness Museum and Art Gallery; the Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum) will explore local heritage and traditions of making – such as Irish linen, Scottish wool and Welsh tin-making – through objects from their collections including textiles, costume and paintings.

Going Places builds on the recommendations of the 2022 research report Going Places: Touring and shared exhibitions in the UK, commissioned by Art Fund and Creative Scotland, which revealed that touring and shared exhibition partnerships are a key way to meet the audience demand for high-quality, accessible exhibitions.

The development of Going Places is made possible with support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and additional support from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Full list of development phase partners and networks

Founding the Future

  • Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth

  • Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, Guildford

  • The Bowes Museum, County Durham

Communities of Making

  • Carmarthenshire Museums

  • Inverness Museum & Art Gallery

  • Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum

New Faces New Focus

  • Aberdeenshire Museums Service

  • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council (FE McWilliam Gallery; Armagh County Museum; The Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre)

  • Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool

Four Lanterns

  • Blackwell – The Arts & Crafts house (Lakeland Arts), Windermere

  • Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh

  • Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham

  • William Morris Gallery, London

The Journeys We Take

  • Hartlepool Art Gallery

  • The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery (University of Leeds)

  • Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Green Spaces, Shared Places

  • Arlington Court and the National Trust Carriage Museum, Exmoor

  • Dales Countryside Museum, Yorkshire

  • Sunderland Culture

  • The National Memorial Arboretum (NMA), Staffordshire

Long Distance Connections (Female Artists)

  • Museums Worcestershire

  • Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Penzance

  • OnFife

Jenny Waldman, director, Art Fund, said: “We’re delighted to help museums and galleries work together to share their collections with local communities across the UK through innovative and sustainable approaches to exhibition-making. Through the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund and Going Places, there will be more opportunities than ever for people to enjoy exceptional art on their doorsteps.

“We’re incredibly grateful to the Garfield Weston Foundation for their generous support towards the Weston Loan Programme, which has supported over 90 organisations since the scheme launched seven years ago. And it’s thanks to The National Lottery Heritage Fund that museums from all corners of the UK – from Tŷ Pawb in Wrexham to Penlee House in Penzance – will collaborate and work with local communities to tell new stories through Going Places. Our National Art Pass members help Art Fund make all these initiatives possible.”

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