The Wollaston Family of Leicestershire were painted in a group portrait by William Hogarth. The painting was passed down through the family before being loaned to New Walk Museum & Art Gallery. It has been enjoyed by generations of gallery visitors ever since, but now it could be lost to the people of Leicester if we don’t purchase it.
This would be a monumental loss to the UK’s art heritage and to the millions of visitors who have enjoyed having it on free public display here in Leicester.
The family are offering the painting to the nation in settlement of inheritance tax, and Leicester Museums has the unique opportunity to acquire it, but we need to raise the funds by 28 February 2019.
Leicester Museums need to raise over £550,000 to save Hogarth’s Wollaston Family. We are applying to external funding bodies, but we cannot raise the whole amount without your support!
Please help us to reach our target of £16,600 in public donations from Crowdfunding by getting involved.
What we'll deliver:
- Purchase Wollaston Family by Hogarth for the people of Leicester.
- To improve display and educational materials in relation to the work.
- Any additional funds will be used to help conserve and display this and other works in the museum’s collection.
Why it's a great idea:
What’s special about this piece? The Wollaston Family is one of the most important British paintings of the 18th Century. It’s a defining work of its time, which helped establish a style of portraiture and painting that would dominate British art for a century.
Few Hogarth oil paintings can be seen outside of London, and this is the only one in the Midlands.
The purchase price offered (£564,528.00) is less than 20% of the painting’s current market value. This is an incredible opportunity to purchase a work of such importance at a price that is within reach for a regional museum service, with your support. Leicester Museums need to raise over £550,000 by 28 February 2019 to save Hogarth’s Wollaston Family.
The risks of not raising funding support for this purchase are significant: It would be sold at auction to the highest bidder; It may not stay in public ownership and become part of a private collection; possibly not even in the UK.
Please help us Save the Hogarth for Leicester.
Steps to get it done:
- Deadline for Purchase 28th Feburary 2019
Should we be fortunate to raise more than our target, any additional funds will be used to help conserve and display the painting and other art works in the museum’s collection.
Since 1943, the Leicester Museums Service has had the painting on loan, it is an oil painting of regional, national and international significance. Original frame, designed by William Kent (1684-1784).
The portrait represents the family interacting according to the ideal of ‘politeness’, a milieu in which older, rural, aristocratic families mingled with more urban and commercial people who saw themselves as being at the heart of contemporary culture and coffee house society. In Hogarth’s hands the concept of ‘politeness’ is given a tender and intimate feel – we are witnessing a family who are interacting with liveliness and affection, adopting a frame of politeness understood by an 18th century cosmopolitan audience.
The exquisite Baroque interior is thought most likely to be the family’s London residence.