Treasures and masterpieces travel from national collections to museums nationwide

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Treasures and masterpieces travel from national collections to museums nationwide
Norham Castle, on the River Tweed. c1822-3. Turner, Joseph Mallord William © Tate, London 2019.

LONDON.- For 2019, the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund has provided 12 museums with a total of £200,000 towards borrowing nationally significant works of art and objects, including:

• George Stubbs’ iconic equine portrait Whistlejacket will travel from the National Gallery to Milton Keynes.

• Wakefield Museum will host Ancient Egyptian mummies and artefacts from the British Museum in ‘Gateway to Eternity’, an exhibition exploring burial, taboo and death rituals.

• JMW Turner’s landscape masterpieces will tour museums in the North of England, investigating the Romantic artist’s relationship with the region.

• Sheep in art will be celebrated by the rural Ceredigion Museum in Wales, borrowing works from Tate’s collection.

Loans from institutions including the V&A and National Museums Liverpool will go on display at museums and galleries throughout the country this year, thanks to funding through the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund.

Created by the Garfield Weston Foundation and Art Fund, the scheme is designed to directly fund and empower regional and smaller local authority museums to borrow major works of art and objects from the UK’s national museums and galleries. 2019 represents the second year of the three-year programme.

Sophia Mason, Trustee of the Garfield Weston Foundation, said: ‘We are delighted that this programme is empowering museums across the country and ensuring our national treasures can be seen by audiences in the context of their own region and local heritage.’

Stephen Deuchar, Director of Art Fund, said: ‘The Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund is about encouraging museums to share their collections with each other and bringing new benefit and opportunity to their visitors. We’re proud to be working with the Garfield Weston Foundation to realise this important national programme.’

Museums have seen significant increases in their visitor figures following support through the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund. In 2018, the first year of the scheme, Rugby Museum and Art Gallery saw a 70% increase in attendance for their exhibition About Face which featured artists’ portraits borrowed from the National Portrait Gallery, while Manor House Museum in Kettering attributed a 100% increase in monthly visitors year on year to its exhibition of treasures from the British Museum.

The 2019 exhibitions for the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund include:

• Ancient Egyptian artefacts from National Museums Scotland will go on display at two Scottish venues. Discovering Ancient Egypt, Hawick Museum, 8 March – 2 June 2019 and Montrose Museum, Angus, 8 June – 7 September 2019

• Ceredigion Museum explores the theme of sheep in art with key loans from Tate. Sheep, Ceredigion Museum, Aberyrstwyth, 5 April – 29 June 2019.

• Three venues across the North of England are set to host a touring exhibition about JMW Turner and his relationship with the North. Turner: Northern Exposure, The Granary Gallery, Berwick-upon-Tweed, 25 May – 13 October 2019; Tullie House, Carlisle, 27 October 2019 – 5 January 2020; Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate, 18 January – 19 April 2020.

• Objects and works of art that capture the British experience in Russia following the end of the First World War will go on display at The Green Howards Museum. A Hostile Environment: The British in Russia 1918-1920, The Green Howards Museum, Richmond, North Yorkshire, 28 June - 14 December 2019.

• Considered the finest porcelain ever produced in the UK, Nantgarw China Works will ‘bring home’ a selection of exemplary pieces from Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales to the site where they were created 200 years ago. Coming Home, Nantgarw China Works Museum, Wales, from 13 July – 28 September.

• Egyptian artefacts connected to burial rituals will travel to Wakefield on loan from The British Museum and National Museums Liverpool, alongside a mummy from Manchester Museum. Gateway to Eternity: Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt, Wakefield Museum, from 6 July 2019 onwards.

• From The National Gallery, George Stubbs' iconic Whistlejacket journeys to Milton Keynes for the largest overview of the artist's work in 35 years. A focussed selection of works from the exhibition will be presented at the Mauritshuis in The Hague. George Stubbs: ‘all done from Nature’, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, 12 October 2019 – 26 January 2020.

• The Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne delves into portrayals of the interior as a gilded cage in which women are pictured as ornamental objects, confronting iconic British Orientalist and Pre-Raphaelite depictions of this theme with works by contemporary artists that challenge and subvert them. Loans will be from Tate, Victoria & Albert Museum and National Museums Liverpool. The Enchanted Interior, Laing Art Gallery, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, 12 October 2019 – 23 February 2020.

• Additional Pre-Raphaelite works from Tate, Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal Academy travel to Southampton and Bournemouth as part of an exhibition looking at how this art movement is more than a historic style, but a living tradition, continuing through the 20th century and into popular culture today. Beyond the sBrotherhood: The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy, Southampton City Art Gallery, 18 October 2019 – 1 February 2020; Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth, 21 February – 21 June 2020.

• Taunton celebrates the life and art of Tristram Hillier, an often overlooked but important 20th-century artist who was influenced by Somerset’s rich and varied landscape. Painter Pilgrim: The Art and Life of Tristram Hillier, Museum of Somerset, Taunton, 9 November 2019 – 20 April 2020.

All participating museums are recipients of grants through the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund. Hawick Museum and Montrose Museum received funding through the first year of the scheme. Carisbrooke Castle Museum is receiving funds through the second year of the programme and will realise its exhibition in early 2020.

In 2019 the programme is distributing £200,000 in its second year of funding, plus a training programme to support museums borrowing works of art and objects. The recipients of the scheme will use their grants towards loans of works of art and objects to go on display. Grants range between £1,000 and £25,000 and cover a number of costs, including transport, insurance, conservation, installation, and activities relating to advocacy, marketing and audience development.

The Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund aims to help widen access to works and objects from the national collections for audiences across the country, strengthen the skills of museum professionals, and distribute resources across the UK.

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