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:
- open for at least half the week for at least six months of the year
- at least provisionally accredited under the Arts Council Accreditation Scheme
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.
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.