125 Years of Giving

Ever wondered who helps to pay for new works of art? Many of our most prestigious art works have been purchased with grant aid, and in 2006 we celebrate one of our longest and most important funders.

In 1881 a government scheme was launched with a budget of £1500 to assist newly-founded municipal museums and galleries to build up their collections.  Operated by the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), the scheme still forms a key part of its national work.

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) now provides £1,000,000 annually to the Fund, which supports smaller purchases as well as major works of art.  The V&A Purchase Grant Fund has supported Manchester Art Gallery from its creation in 1882.  In total, we have received £1,378,790, but in terms of changing values this is worth far more.

You can see artworks acquired by Manchester Art Gallery with the support of the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund throughout the galleries.  Look out especially for the following popular favourites.  Click on any item to see more information.


A Peasant Girl Gathering Faggots (detail) by Thomas Gainsborough, 1782A Peasant Girl Gathering Faggots 
Thomas Gainsborough, 1782

On display First Floor, 18th Century





Writing desk or escritoire (detail) by William Burges, 1865-7Writing desk or escritoire
designed by William Burges, 1865-7

On display First Floor, Pre-Raphaelite





Village Street, Louveciennes (detail) by Camille Pissarro, 1871Village Street, Louveciennes
by Camille Pissarro, 1871

On display First Floor, Lowry and Valette





Giraffe cabinet (detail) designed by Roger Fry, made by the Omega Workshop, 1915-16Giraffe Cabinet
designed by Roger Fry and made by the Omega Workshop, 1915-16

On display First Floor: Modern and Contemporary





Satin dress bodice made in Dorset, about 1650Satin dress bodice
made in Dorset, about 1650

Look out for this new addition to the displays, coming soon to the 17th century gallery.