Founded in 1816, from the bequest of Richard, seventh Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion, the Fitzwilliam Museum has evolved, by bequest and acquisition, into one of the great treasuries of art in Britain. Over the years, Lord Fitzwilliam’s superb Old Master paintings, prints, books and manuscripts have been augmented and added to by purchase and benefaction to create one of the most representative and beautiful art museums in the world.
Some 500,000 masterpieces, large and small, ranging from antiquity to the present day, are displayed in a magnificent Neoclassical building in the heart of Cambridge. The Fitzwilliam is the principal museum of the University of Cambridge, and, from its inception, has been a centre for research, scholarship and teaching – a mission that it still fulfils to this day – while the Museum’s Hamilton Kerr Institute for Painting Conservation maintains an international reputation in its field.
A much-loved public museum with ambitious exhibition, education and outreach programmes, the Fitzwilliam now welcomes well over 430,000 visitors every year. Designated by the government as of national importance and open free of charge to all, the Fitzwilliam Museum celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2016.
Yet the success of the Fitzwilliam Museum very much depends on the generosity of its supporters. Whilst our core funds come from the University of Cambridge, the Higher Education Funding Council of England and Arts Council England, we rely increasingly on donations from foundations and charities, and from private individuals, in order to continue our work of caring for the building and collections.
Chief amongst these is the Marlay Group, the highest level of museum membership, a small circle of generous private supporters who make it possible for the Museum to conserve its collections, refurbish its galleries, mount exhibitions, produce learning programmes and publications, and support staff posts.
The Marlay Group members – named after Charles Brinsley Marlay, one of the Museum’s greatest benefactors – occupy a very special place in the Museum, and this is recognised by invitations to a programme of friendly and exclusive social and cultural activities – including private views, study trips abroad, behind-the-scenes tours, visits to museums, exhibitions and private collections, and much more. The Museum’s need for your support has never been greater. We very much hope that you will consider joining the Marlay Group, and help the Fitzwilliam Museum to flourish as a place of knowledge, inspiration and beauty.
Director and Marlay Curator
From £1350 a year, patronage is a great way of supporting the Museum and developing your knowledge of historical and contemporary art in a welcoming and social environment.
US tax payers may wish to support the Museum via Cambridge in America, a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization (recognised by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service).
For further information please contact:
Development Office The Fitzwilliam Museum Trumpington Street Cambridge CB2 1RB
Tel.: +44 (0)1223 332 933
We are committed to protecting our supporter’s personal information and being transparent about what information we hold. Your data is used by us for event organisation, supporter relations, and for fundraising. Please read the University's full data protection statement at alumni.cam.ac.uk/data-protection and the Fitzwilliam Museum Development Trust’s Privacy Notice.