‘Funded with Thanks’ showcases Exeter Museum’s Fine Art Collection
Published: 17 February 2022
Works from the Fine Art Collection at Exeter City Council’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) are now on display in new exhibition Exeter’s Fine Art Collection: Funded with Thanks. The exhibition explores how some of the most significant and recognisable works of art in RAMM’s collection have been acquired thanks to the generosity of donors and funding bodies.
Shining a light on the often overlooked topic of museum funding, Funded with Thanks showcases the quality and diversity of Exeter’s Fine Art Collection, which is in large part thanks to the generosity and foresight of these supporters, past and present.
RAMM has been collecting fine art since it was founded in the 1860s. The art collection is rich and varied, consisting of over 7,000 paintings, prints, drawings, watercolours, miniatures and sculptures dating from the 1400s to the present day. This exhibition shows a selection of artworks that have been acquired with the help of trusts, foundations and bequests, as well as the generosity of private donors.
Some of RAMM’s most important and well-loved works are on display, including J.M.W. Turner’s 'Buckfastleigh Abbey' and William Powell Frith’s 'The Fair Toxophilites'. The exhibition brings together a diverse selection of artistic styles and subject matters, including paintings, drawings and miniatures dating from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century. Visitors can trace the changing tastes and priorities of the museum’s collectors and benefactors.
RAMM’s Assistant Curator, Eleanor Hutchison said: “Many of the most important and famous works of art at RAMM are only here thanks to the generous support of donors and funding bodies. This support has helped us to acquire, conserve and display these artworks. This exhibition aims to celebrate this great collection while shedding light on the vital importance of these donations.”
“We hope this exhibition also demonstrates the wonderful variety of works that have been acquired for RAMM’s Fine Art Collection over the years, from delicate watercolours of Victorian Exeter to dramatic scenes of classical mythology, as well as vivid depictions of Devonshire landscapes, to name but a few.”
Many of the works on display were conserved thanks to the generous support of Arts Council England, the Friends of RAMM, as well as individual donors and corporate sponsors.