Applications open

Acquisition grants

Through our acquisitions programme, we give grants totalling between £4m and £5m every year to help museums and galleries purchase art for their collections.

We believe that new acquisitions allow museums and galleries to interpret the world, spark debate and provide fresh entry points for audiences.

We can assist with the purchase of works of art and other objects of artistic interest dating from antiquity to the present day. Within this broad category our criteria include:

  • objects of national and international importance, including high value items subject to temporary export licence deferral or being offered with tax remission
  • objects of significant regional interest judged to be of good museum quality
  • objects which will artistically enrich collections and support the expansion and development of new areas of collecting

Grants can range from a few hundred pounds, to hundreds of thousands.

We do not usually support commissions but can sometimes consider exceptional projects, and would encourage any applicant with a project in mind to contact us to discuss the proposal.

Who should apply

We will consider applications from UK public museums, galleries, historic houses, libraries and archives that are:

All grant recipients will be asked to sign our full Grant conditions.

To say thank you to Art Fund members and enable them to see the works of art they have helped acquire, we ask grant recipients to:

  • give free admission to your permanent collections for visitors with a National Art Pass
  • give free or half-price entry to your exhibitions for visitors with a National Art Pass
  • make a permanent acknowledgement of our help
  • collaborate with us on publicity and promotional work

For full details of how museums are asked to acknowledge our support please see Acknowledging Art Fund's support.

Funds available

Our acquisitions programme operates three distinct grant schemes:

  • main grants: grant requests of above £7,500 and/or where the total cost of the work is more than £15,000
  • small grants: grant requests of £7,500 or less where the total cost of the work is £15,000 or less
  • auctions: time-critical applications of any size for works coming up for sale at auction

There is no minimum amount that can be applied for, and there is no fixed percentage for which you can apply to Art Fund, but we expect you to explore the possibility of applying to all appropriate sources of public funding for which you may be eligible.

How to apply

For application forms and to submit your application, log in to My Art Fund.

You must be registered as a professional user.

If you already have a My Art Fund account but are not registered as a professional user, you can add your professional details when logged in.

If you require application forms in an alternative format, please contact the Programmes team.

Log in to apply

Information for applicants

Get in touch

Please review the Guidance for applicants and call us to discuss potential acquisitions before submitting an application, so we can ensure the object you wish to purchase is eligible and that we have enough time to process your application.

Please contact:

Eleanor McGrath, senior programmes manager, acquisitions
020 7225 4815
emcgrath@artfund.org

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