This is a sponsored article on behalf of Art Fund.
We've mentioned the great perks that come with having a National Art Pass, but that's just one side of what Art Fund does. It does much more to support London's museums and galleries so they remain the envy of the world. Here are seven activities that buying a National Art Pass will enable:
1. Crowdfunding great projects
Crowdfunding is a great way to raise money and awareness for projects. In order to harness this great fundraising technique for galleries and museums, Art Fund created Art Happens - a platform specifically for the sector to help get great projects off the ground, with the added incentive of rewards for donors. The Jewish Museum London are the latest to run an Art Happens campaign to raise money to stage a street art tour celebrating the life of Amy Winehouse and the Camden she loved. Funders can choose from a range of rewards, from tote bags to a limited edition signed print by street artist Pegasus.
2. Celebrating the best museums
Two great London museums made it into the shortlist for Art Fund Museum of the Year award. We love both the V&A and Bethlem's Museum of the Mind, and it was the V&A that won the coveted prize. The £100,000 prize money will be used by the V&A to share its treasures with other institutions.
Both museums are free to all but National Art Pass holders receive 50% off exhibitions at the V&A.
3. Buying great works of art
Art Fund helps buy great works of art for our galleries and museums. It has helped not only major institutions like The British Museum, National Gallery, Museum of London and Kensington Palace, but also smaller galleries such as William Morris Gallery and The Courtauld Gallery to purchase great works art and historical objects. This means the works are visible to the public rather than lost to private collections, or even taken abroad.
4. Preserving a piece of history
Often an important part of history can be at threat of being sold abroad if a British buyer can't be found. This is where Art Fund has stepped in on numerous occasions to help raise the funds. One of the latest successes is the key part Art Fund played in saving a rare portrait of Elizabeth I for the nation (the British public played a bit part in this too). The Art Fund's fundraising campaign raised £10.3m to save this portrait and the work itself will be displayed at Queen's House, Greenwich this October.
National Art Pass holders can know they've made a contribution to helping Art Fund preserve our history.
5. Art in great places
Ever wondered how a work of art ends up somewhere where you wouldn't expect it to? Art Fund may have had a part to play. It has recently gifted the Tate a Bill Viola video installation, which in turn was loaned to St Paul's Cathedral. This work is called Mary, and is being unveiled this Friday to coincide with the Feast of Mary.
Mary will serve as a companion piece to the brilliant Martyrs, which is also by Bill Viola and has been on display at St Paul's since 2014. These two Viola pieces are the first two moving image works to have been placed in a British cathedral on a long term basis.
National Art Pass holders receive 50% off entry to St. Paul's.
6. Spreading the love of art across the country
Art Fund allows great works of art to be seen by more people. It helps works to travel around the country. But it's not just about taking art outside of London, it's also about bringing it in.
Tate Modern's collections of works by Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois and Phyillia Barlow are all on display for us to enjoy, thanks to the Artist Rooms programme supported by Art Fund.
7. Improving curation
Art Fund helps curators get the training and development they need to research their collections more thoroughly and network with other specialists. For example the Jonathan Ruffer curatorial grants programme enables museum professionals to undertake research projects in the UK or abroad with grants they receive from Art Fund.
Get your National Art Pass today for £62 (or just £46.50 if you're paying by Direct Debit), and know that you are contributing to these important activities.