friends of Bristol Art Gallery

friends of Bristol Art Gallery

At a glance


  • Arts
  • Children / families
  • Education
  • Museums / heritage

Other details

Geographical remit: 



The Friends of Bristol Art gallery was formed in 1947 (not the 1960s). Later the Friends of the Museums and Archives was formed. We work separately so that money can be focussed more readily on where it is specifically needed.

The beneficiaries are the City of Bristol, its people, its schools, its universities and Art Curators and Conservators. Access to the Art galleries (and museum) is free. We raise funds to:-

a) provide immediate access to money which will enable museum staff to prove support and thereby gain access to Art Fund and V&A grants for purchase of Fine and Applied Art at sales and auctions.

b) Our money may be used to take works out of store and restore them with modern conservation techniques. Or to restore works bought at auction

c) To refurbish art galleries - decoration, lighting, floors and also to pay the costs of re-hangs. In the long term and perhaps with legacy help, we would like to help to buy much better display cases to show the very good collection of Asian artefacts.

d) We hold a series of winter lectures delivered by professionals from various part of the UK and also local expertise. These are open to the public and there is an entry fee for everyone at present.

e) We provide grants towards some projects for school children. Talking Heads proved a great success last year. We would like to do more of this if possible.

Both our lectures and support for Children’s projects serve to provide a wider education for the public at a variety of levels

The City's reputation is enhanced by the quality of its City Museum and Art Gallery, by MShed, and by its well known Tudor, Georgian and Victorian properties all open to the public. The quality of all these, alongside other attractions encourages tourism and local jobs.


The Friends organise visits to major exhibitions over the autumn, winter period, and to places of interest which may include art work, gardens, furniture etc during late spring and summer. All of these are charged at a rate to raise funds.

The same charging applies to residential visits which are organised both in the UK and overseas and these also raise money.

Two lunch talks for Friends only also raise funds, whilst The Friends/Public lectures also raise money which pays for speakers costs

The Friends of Bristol Art Galleries is a membership organisation and the members fees also give support to the Art Galleries money.

Another organisation, Friends of the Museum and Archives, undertakes very similar activities for the City Museum, MShed and others buildings.

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