Sales of limited-edition works donated by artists including Jeremy Deller, Lubaina Himid, Anish Kapoor, Cornelia Parker and David Shrigley have raised £1,047,798 from more than 4,500 donors since the campaign launched in November.
The entirety of this figure will be awarded to UK cultural institutions who will be invited to apply for support in the coming weeks.
“We are humbled that so many have put their hand in their own pocket at this time of uncertainty to help us pass our target,” says Jenny Waldman, Art Fund director. This support, she adds, will make a “huge difference” to the museums who receive a share later this year.
With museums having been subjected to a third nationwide lockdown since the Together for Museums campaign launched, Waldman says the additional support anticipated in today’s Budget is “very welcome” and that it is “great to see them [the government] listening and responding to what museums need”.
The Art Fund director does, however, warn that support will be needed long after 17th May. “The reality,” she concludes, “is that reopening is only the first step on the road to recovery.”
In addition to the million pounds raised by the Together for Museums campaign, £2.25 million has already been pledged by Art Fund to support the beleaguered museums sector since last summer.
Organisations to benefit from this backing include the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham, Chichester’s Novium Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, and Ceredigion Museum in west Wales.
Research undertaken during the pandemic found that 60% of museums were worried about survival at the end of 2020, with permanent closure a strong possibility for some.
The scale of need has been plainly evident to Art Fund as it was only able to support 15% of the 451 museums that applied for its emergency funding scheme last year.
To try and support more organisations, the charity is keeping the Together for Museums crowdfunding page open despite having met its initial target. Donations and purchases can still be made here.