Jane Austen’s desk among objects to travel for Weston Loan Programme

Image: Jane Austen's Writing Desk from the British Library collection

Major institutions will loan objects to 12 smaller museum and gallery exhibitions as part of the Art Fund and the Garfield Weston Foundation programme

Twelve smaller museums and galleries have secured funding to add a loan from a major institution to their upcoming exhibition.

Now in its eighth year, Art Fund and the Garfield Weston Foundation have today announced the latest round of exhibitions to be supported by the Weston Loan Programme, which directly funds the loan of works from national or major lending museums and galleries.

Announced today, exhibitions supported by the programme include Nottingham Contemporary for the first major retrospective on Black British artist Donald Rodney; The Granary Gallery, Maltings (Berwick) Trust for an exhibition exploring Lowry’s lifelong fascination with the sea; and Petersfield Museum and Art Gallery for an exhibition telling the little-known story of American art collector Peggy Guggenheim’s time living near Petersfield.

Loans include Jane Austen’s writing desk, which will travel to God’s House Tower in Southampton as part of a celebration of the writer’s 250th birthday.

Austen’s travelling writing desk, on loan from the British Library, will be back in the port city for the first time since she lived there 200 years ago.

Also to be loaned are seascapes by LS Lowry, which will be put on show in Berwick where the artist was a regular visitor. Two 14th century lidded jugs, which travelled via trade routes to Kumasi and the Asante court in southern Ghana are being loaned by the British Museum for an exhibition at York Army Museum.

In addition, the Weston Loan Programme has awarded research and development grants to Amersham Museum, Southwark Park Galleries, The National Memorial Arboretum and Lighthouse in Poole to develop and refine future loan proposals.

A total of £308,606 has been awarded in this round, bringing the total so far to almost £1.6 million across 93 organisations since the scheme began in 2017.

Last year it was announced that the programme will continue until at least 2027, after a £1m grant from the Garfield Weston Foundation.