Small museums to get national share

A scheme to allow small museums around the country to display objects from national collections was launched today by the Art Fund.

Devised in association with the Garfield Weston Foundation and called the Weston Loan Programme, the scheme is with £750,000 to support wider sharing of national museums; collections.

Art Fund director Stephen Deuchar said loans could be identified by the small museums rather than being on the agenda of the national institution, and would cover the often prohibitive costs of transport, insurance and marketing.

He said the programme addresses a vital need: “Our national museums want to widen access to the collections they hold, and institutions around the UK want to share these works with their audiences” he said. “The response has been overwhelming. We’re pleased to provide the means to enable the greater sharing of art but, just as importantly, to help empower museums to realise their ambitions. 

Loans have already been agreed for 2018, including self-portraits by Edouardo Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton and Lucian Freud from the National Portrait Gallery  to Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, The Becket Casket from the V&A to Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery, and Rembrandt’s An Elderly Man as St Paul from the National Gallery to Cannon Hall Museum, Barnsley (pictured).

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