EOW's Head on her Pillow II, 1965. (C) Frank Auerbach, courtesy Marlborough Fine Art

Museums urged to apply for £16.2m Auerbach paintings

Geraldine Kendall, 15.07.2014
Sector set to benefit from largest ever AIL donation
The arts council is seeking to permanently allocate a collection of paintings by Frank Auerbach worth £16.2m to public museums and galleries across the UK.

The collection was given to the nation through the Acceptance in Lieu (AIL) scheme by the estate of Lucian Freud, who died in 2011.

It is the largest offer in lieu to be made in the scheme’s 100-year history and the arts council plans to divide the paintings between a range of institutions to ensure they are seen by as wide an audience as possible. 

The bequest features 15 works in oil and 29 works on paper spanning Auerbach’s career from the 1950s to the 2000s, as well as personal cards and letters sent to Freud by the artist.

Several major oil portraits are held in the collection, including Head of Gerda Boehm, 1964, and EOW's Head on her Pillow II, 1965.

The bequest also features a number of works by other artists, including a preparatory study by Picasso and paintings by Jack Butler Yeats and John Lessore.

Gerry McQuillan, senior adviser at the arts council’s Acquisitions, Exports, Loans and Collections Unit, said: “We want to make it more widely known that these paintings are available because we’d like to see some of them going to museums and galleries that haven’t applied to the Acceptance in Lieu scheme before.

"They really are top works - they were collected by Lucian Freud and reflect the regard and admiration he had for Auerbach.

“The collection is too big to stay together in any one museum and it will do more good being spread out across the UK.”

Sharon Heal, the Museums Association's interim head of policy, said: "This is a great opportunity for museums and galleries to add to their collections. It would be good to see work going to organisations that have not benefited from the AIL scheme before."

Museums applying for the artworks must consider how public access will be provided to the artworks, how the paintings relate to the existing collection and what specific educational use they will make of the items.

Several works from the collection will be on display at Manchester City Art Gallery until 10 August. The entire collection will go on display at Tate Britain in London from 25 August to 2 November.

The deadline for applications is Friday 21 November 2014.


List of works available for allocation

Cultural Gifts Scheme

The arts council also announced this week that The Dinner Party, a well known pop-art painting by the late Irish artist Sam Walsh, has been gifted to the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool by former National Museums Liverpool trustee John Entwistle.

Entwistle made the offer through the Cultural Gifts Scheme, which was launched in April 2013 to encourage lifetime donations. The scheme enables people and companies to donate cultural objects to the nation in exchange for a reduction in their income, capital gains or corporation tax bill.


Find out more about tax incentives for philanthropy