The National Gallery is to continue its Pay What You Wish scheme, first launched as a response to the cost-of-living crisis.

The London venue claims to be the first national art gallery in the UK to launch such a scheme for an exhibition, beginning on Friday evenings for the run of The Credit Suisse Exhibition – Lucian Freud: New Perspectives.

Visitors were able to pay as much or as little as they liked, starting at £1, during Friday evening bookings.

The scheme will now continue with its autumn exhibition The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Frans Hals, which will run from 30 September 2023 to 21 January 2024.

Data from visitors who took part in the scheme suggests that they chose to pay an amount based on what they could afford. Further, 39% attributed the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on their decision.

The gallery said that between 22% and 23% of visitors taking part in the scheme were visiting a paid exhibition for the first time.

Between 5% – 6% came to the National Gallery and its collection for the first time as part of the scheme.

In the Pay What You Wish scheme, time slots between 5.30pm and 9pm on Fridays, can be booked in advance for a minimum payment of £1. Visitors can also attend Gallery Friday Late talks and events.

Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, London said: “While our collection and most of our temporary exhibitions are free, the Pay What You Wish scheme continues to enable practically anyone who wants to see our paying exhibitions to do so.”

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