Virgin & Child with Donor - stained glass roundel made in Cologne, Germany, c.1510 - Met Museum

How we make Donations

Background

The London Art History Society frequently makes an annual surplus on its courses, visits and outings. The Committee has decided that any surplus should be distributed among organisations that reflect the interests of London Art History Society, i.e. institutions involved in art and architecture, and students who are researching related subjects at a post graduate or advanced level. The Society has a set of criteria which must be met in order to be eligible for a donation as detailed below.

Suitable organisations

  • Since we are a London-based Society we should support organisations that are within the M25 orbit.
  • An organisation could be an art gallery, museum, library or educational institution.
  • This could include specialist collections in our subject field housed in more general bodies such as universities or learned societies.

How the organisations are chosen

  • Any fully paid up member of the London Art History Society can nominate an organisation. One suggestion per annum per member.
  • Initial enquiries should be made to our Donations Administrator.
  • The member should NOT contact the organisation directly and conduct preliminary negotiations with it, and should preferably not have any formal association with it.
  • The Donations sub-committee will NOT accept approaches direct from organisations themselves.

Procedures

  1. The Donations sub-committee having collected data and discussed possible recipients throughout the year meets in January and produces a list of five possible candidates, one of which should be student or academic based.
  2. These would be presented to the full Committee at its meeting in February when the Treasurer will have an estimate of any likely surplus. Should this prove likely to be small, the list should be curtailed in order that our donation will be worthwhile. This should be discussed in the full Committee and the list agreed.
  3. The sub-committee will share out communication with the recipients among its members and initial approaches can then be made and a possible minimum amount mentioned. During these negotiations the eventual use of the monies will be defined and approved by other members of the subcommittee if it is felt necessary.
  4. At the next full Committee meeting the Treasurer should have finalised the accounts and the amount of money for distribution will be known. The whole Committee can then discuss the projects and agree the amount to go on each.
  5. The sub-committee would then finalise negotiations with the recipients, obtain cheques from the Treasurer and ensure their delivery, and follow the progress of the work.
  6. In most cases of conservation, framing etc., curators are happy to allow special visits from members to see the item we have supported and the collection surrounding it. A member of the sub-committee should liaise with the curator to arrange for possible dates and possible numbers, and notices inviting members to apply to see the item should be included in the August and December mailings.
  7. The person who liaises with the organisation should provide an account of how the money has been used, and this should be presented to members in the August or December mailing when possible and/or presented at the AGM.
  8. After the donations have been agreed the rest of the names are removed from the original list but they can be renominated the following year.

What the money should be used for

  1. A specific purpose, such as conservation of a picture, book, drawing, manuscript or object, or reframing a picture so that it can go on display.
  2. An educational project in the field of art and architecture.
  3. To purchase equipment to help collections become more widely available i.e. a scanner, a lighting gantry for photographing objects for digitisation to be put on a data base.
  4. To assist post graduate students with printing and copyright costs for dissertations and financial help to attend conferences.
  5. An original project that the sub-committee deems suitable, with the approval of the full Committee.

THE AWARD SHOULD NEVER GO INTO AN ORGANISATION’S GENERAL FUNDS.
This will be stated when the initial approach is made to the recipient and can be reiterated when the cheque is delivered.

Donations Administrator

Robert Gwynne

donations@londonarthistorysociety.org.uk