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Art you’ve helped support: This month’s highlights

Every month we spotlight a few works of art that we've been able to help museums add to their collections recently, thanks to your support. Here's this month's picks – from a vivid self-portrait to a collection of satirical Georgian prints.

It’s thanks to Art Fund members and donors that we're able to support museums across the UK, helping them to buy and share works of art and get exciting new projects off the ground.

This month, which marks International Women’s Day on 8 March, we’ve selected three fascinating pieces by trailblazing women artists that you'll be able to see in museums soon, thanks to you.

Take a look below. And don’t forget, you’ll get great benefits when you visit with a National Art Pass.

An evocative pre-lockdown self-portrait

Shani Rhys James, Before Lockdown, 2019, Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, Art Funded 2021, © Shani Rhys James. Courtesy Victoria Art Gallery

In this brightly coloured oil painting, Before Lockdown (2019), Welsh painter Shani Rhys James depicts herself sitting at a table next to a luxuriant vase of flowers, while a pair of blue latex gloves – which the artist has used as a prop for many years – lies passively on the table. The portrait featured in the artist’s recent exhibition exploring how people’s lives have been transformed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thanks to you, this is the first painting by Rhys James to join the collection at Victoria Art Gallery in Bath, joining their holdings of work by groundbreaking women artists.

12 satirical prints of women and their wigs

Mary Darly, A group of 12 late 18th-century satirical prints of women and their wigs, 1776, The Whitworth, Manchester, Art Funded 2021. Courtesy of the Whitworth, The University of Manchester

18th-century caricaturist Mary Darly was making prints during a time when female printmakers were rare. These satirical prints mock the absurdity of women’s hair arrangements at a time when style was judged by height (the higher the better).

These prints of women and their wigs have joined the important print collection at Manchester’s Whitworth gallery, where historic works by women are currently underrepresented.

A triptych of colourful screenprints

Helen Cammock, Moveable Bridge (Triptych), 2017, Touchstones Rochdale, Art Funded 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Kate MacGarry, London. Photography by Angus Mill

This work was made as part of 2019 Turner Prize winner Helen Cammock’s project Moveable Bridge, which explored the history and culture of Hull. Cammock’s focus was on how communities open and close throughout history, particularly relating to how Hull exhibited apparent contradictions when it voted to leave the EU in 2016.

Each print uses a different overlying colour that’s significant to the individual scene. You’ll be able to see these prints at Touchstones Rochdale, which has a strong history of both collecting and showing work by women and Black artists.


Membership gives back: The National Art Pass helps museums to buy and share works of art for everyone to enjoy, as well as run exciting projects that connect more people with art. Find out more.


Keen to see more? Check back next month when we’ll be sharing some more recent highlights with you.

Pictured top: Helen Cammock, from Moveable Bridge (Triptych), 2017, Touchstones Rochdale, Art Funded 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Kate MacGarry, London. Photography by Angus Mill

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