How museums can benefit from schemes that support the placing of art

A visitor with Fan by Halima Cassell, gifted by the Jerwood Collection to The Hepworth Wakefield through Art Fund

Our newly published guide to giving art highlights how museums, galleries, archives and libraries across the UK can acquire top quality objects for free or for less than their market value – and how the donor/seller benefits too.

Art Fund, then the National Art Collections Fund, was founded in 1903 to support museums, galleries and historic houses in the face of inadequate public funding for collections. Unfortunately, today museums face the same challenges, with prices at the top of the art market continuing to soar and museum acquisition budgets under increasing pressure.

Over the years a number of initiatives have been developed by Art Fund, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to counteract these challenges and make giving or selling art and cultural artefacts to museums and cultural institutions as simple and attractive as possible.

The aim of our new guide to giving art, produced jointly by Art Fund and Arts Council England (ACE), is to support owners (and museums) to find the right scheme for them, while demonstrating the impact of these schemes through real life case studies. All of the schemes are UK-wide and available to owners and institutions across all four nations.

In 2022 ACE reported that the Acceptance in Lieu and Cultural Gifts Schemes had placed objects valued at over £57 million with public collections across the UK. In the same year, 729 works of art entered public collections through Art Fund’s Gifts and Bequests programme. The value of these schemes for the museums sector cannot be overstated.

And owners benefit too. In the case of the Acceptance in Lieu scheme and Private Treaty Sales, offerors/sellers benefit more than they would if they sold the work on the open market.

We are keen to see more museums and galleries benefit from these schemes, and the guide includes advice on how you can proactively take advantage of them.

Read "Everybody is a winner": A guide to giving (and selling) art and cultural artefacts to UK museums and galleries, here.

Our doors are open – if you’d like further advice on the schemes, please do get in touch with Art Fund and we’d be happy to help.

"Everybody is a winner" webinar

Watch our webinar to learn how to make the most of Art Fund and Arts Council England schemes that support museums, galleries, archives and libraries across the UK to acquire cultural artefacts for free, or for much less than their market value.
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