13th Century seal matrix that belonged to the Bishop of St Andrews, (c) Fife Cultural Trust

Beecroft sub-committee appoints new members

Patrick Steel, 25.01.2015
£10,000 grants available for acquisition of pre-19th century art
The Beecroft Bequest, which awards grants of up to £10,000 for the acquisition of pre-19th century works, has seen the appointment of Emma Shepley, the senior curator at Royal College of Physicians, and Peter Boughton, the keeper of art at Cheshire West and Chester Council, to its sub-committee, which makes decisions on behalf of the bequest.

Recent awards from the bequest, which was set up under the terms of the will of the late Walter G Beecroft and administered by the Museums Association (MA), include £2,500 awarded to the Fife Cultural Trust in November to purchase a 13th Century seal matrix that belonged to the Bishop of St Andrews.

Shepley and Boughton replace Hilary McGowan and Rosalinda Hardiman, who stepped down at the end of last year.

Rowan Brown, the director of the Alfred Gillett Trust and chair of the Beecroft sub-committee, says: “I’m delighted to welcome Emma Shepley and Peter Boughton to the Beecroft sub-committee and would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Hilary McGowan and Rosalinda Hardiman, who step down this year and whose valiant efforts have helped ensure the prudent stewardship of the of the late Water G Beecroft’s bequest.

“In a climate of vanishing resources, it is a rare privilege to administer a fund which supports museums and galleries in the acquisition of pre-nineteenth century decorative arts. Now at full complement, the sub-committee is ready to review your applications, so if you are considering an acquisition in this area, please do not hesitate to get in touch.”

The MA also administers the MA Benevolent Fund, designed to alleviate financial distress of members of MA and their immediate dependents. This fund now incorporates Trevor Walden bursaries to assist MA members with professional development costs to attend MA conference and events.

The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, which grants £1m a year for collections work outside the scope of an organisation’s core resources.

Tricia Johnstone, the MA's head of finance, says: “In the current funding climate, the grants that the MA administers can make a huge difference to museums and those in the sector, whether it is to cover costs or as a step towards match-funding larger awards.

“We would strongly encourage museums and MA members to familiarise themselves with the trusts and funds administered by the MA, and we welcome eligible applications.”

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