Letter: Art in the regions

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Letter: Art in the regions

Sir: Andrew Lambirth's article "The glories of the garden" (ISM, 17 January) lucidly provided the historical context for the Royal Academy's exhibition "The Art Treasures of England", which has been selected from public art collections in the regions. However, he omitted to mention, among the bodies to which museums and galleries may turn for help in purchasing works of art, the Purchase Grant Fund.

Administered by the Victoria and Albert Museum on behalf of the Museums and Galleries Commission, this fund was established more than a century ago solely to support acquisitions in the regions. In recent decades, for many museums and galleries, such as York City Art Gallery, with limited resources, the acquisition of any work costing more than a few hundred pounds would have been unthinkable without the support of the Purchase Grant Fund.

In the case of modest purchases such support is often 50 per cent of the cost, while the fund also plays an important role in providing partnership funding (at a lower percentage) for more ambitious purchases. The Burra and the Batoni in the current RA exhibition are just two examples of 80 purchases made by York City Art Gallery since 1961 with assistance from the fund.

RICHARD GREEN

Curator

York City Art Gallery

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