David Barrie, Director of The Art Fund gives a lecture about John Ruskin and the origins of The Art Fund.
This lecture takes place at Manchester Town Hall.
John Ruskin gave a series of lectures at the Art Treasures exhibition in Manchester in 1857 in the course of which he proposed the establishment of a ‘national society’ to purchase pictures for ‘the various galleries in our great cities’. This was almost certainly the origin of the idea of establishing the National Art Collections Fund – which was eventually founded in 1903. Now known as The Art Fund,
this charity has enabled more than 600 museums and galleries to acquire almost 860,000 works of art of every description over the last 104 years. David Barrie discusses the challenges it faces in the 21st century.
David Barrie studied Experimental Psychology and Philosophy at Oxford before entering the Diplomatic Service in 1975. He served in various posts in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Cabinet Office, and in the British Embassy in Dublin. He was seconded in 1989 to become Executive Director of The Japan Festival 1991, a major celebration of Japanese culture that took place throughout the UK. In 1992 he was appointed as Director of The Art Fund, a membership-based charity which helps museums enrich their collections and campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors. An expert on Ruskin, his publications include an abridged edition of John Ruskin’s Modern Painters. He is a former trustee of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, and a serving trustee of the Campaign for Museums, the Ruskin Foundation and Butterfly Conservation.