Funding for pre-1800 furniture

Beecroft Bequest

Under the terms of the will of the late Walter G Beecroft, the residue of his estate was bequeathed to the Museums Association (MA) to form the Beecroft Bequest. The income deriving from the bequest was to be distributed as grant-in-aid to art galleries and museums in the British Isles towards

… the purchase of pictures and works of art (furniture or textiles can be considered) not later than the 18th century in date…’

The bequest is administered by trustees who are appointed by the MA.

To be eligible:

1.            Museums must:

  •  be institutional members of the MA and based in the UK
  • be accredited or have applied for accreditation

Preference will be given to organisations with annual revenue expenditure not exceeding £1,000,000. In the case of branch museums, the revenue budget of the parent organisation applies.

2.            The purchase

  •  Must not be later in date than 1800
  • Can be of fine or decorative arts (eg paintings, watercolours, sculpture, ceramics, metalwork, furniture, textiles) and other items of aesthetic merit.
  • The object must be genuine and of good quality
  • Must represent good value for money
  • There must be a sound reason for the acquisition. ( The applicant must demonstrate how it meets the organisation’s acquisition policy/ aims and objectives)
  •  The cost must be at least £500

Applications for grants for items which have already been purchased will not be considered.

3.            The grant

  • Up to 75% of the purchase price can be awarded
  • No single grant will exceed £5,000
  • An element of local financial contribution is required

Any grant awarded will be paid upon production of the receipt for the full value of the purchase.

4.            The process

  • Applications can be considered at any time
  • In the case of auction sales at least five working days are required although the trustees cannot guarantee to consider any application made at short notice.

Any known queries regarding provenance or questions raised by other bodies must be disclosed.

Georgie Stagg, Museums Association
Tel: 020 7426 6953
Fax: 020 7426 6962


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