Important William Hogarth painting saved for the nation

The painting William Wollaston and his Family in a Grand Interior by eminent 18th century English artist William Hogarth, has been allocated to New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester, via the Acceptance in Lieu scheme, following a campaign to save it for the nation.

Tax of £903,672 was settled by the acceptance of the painting. The value of the painting exceeded the liability on the estate and the City of Leicester Museums Trust launched the “Save the Hogarth Campaign”, which raised the £564,528 difference needed to secure the painting with generous grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) and Art Fund, and contributions made by the public of Leicester.

The Friends of Leicester & Leicestershire Museums, The Leicester Archaeological & Historical Society, The Leicester Literary & Philosophical Society and The Golden Bottle Foundation also played a vital part in the campaign.

Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England, said: “New Walk Museum and Art Gallery provides a place for people to share stories and histories as a community and is an important part of Leicester’s arts and cultural offer.

“This is very special painting and we’re pleased that people in the city will be able to continue to see this world-class piece long into the future.”

William Wollaston and his Family by William Hogarth has been on loan to New Walk Museum and Art Gallery for 75 years; it has been enjoyed by generations of gallery visitors and now, due to the generous contributors to the fundraising campaign and the Acceptance in Lieu scheme, which is administered by the Arts Council, it will be enjoyed by many generations to come.

 The painting has been passed down through the Leicester Wollaston family, who have been residents of Leicestershire since 1652, in the family owned estate of Shenton Hall, which the family still reside in today.

William Wollaston and his Family is on display to the public in New Walk Museum & Art Gallery and will remain so until 6 September 2019 before being removed for conservation cleaning in preparation for a series of public events and an exhibition dedicated to the work and the artist in early 2020.

Jim Roberts, Chair of the City of Leicester Museums Trust said: “We are delighted to announce that the fundraising campaign reached its target, with the generous support of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Art Fund, and the Arts Council, who were instrumental in its success.

“It was important to demonstrate the support of the people of Leicester through £30,000 of our own funds, donated by visitors to the museum alongside contributions from The Friends of Leicester & Leicestershire Museums, The Leicester Archaeological & Historical Society, and The Leicester Literary & Philosophical Society. We’re also grateful for the events run by the public – including a much attended ‘Pug Parade’ along Leicester’s New Walk – which were hugely important to raising money and awareness!”

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