Leeds Art Collections Fund
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (November 2014)|
The Leeds Art Collections Fund or LACF has been supporting the visual arts in Leeds since 1912. Founded by Frank Rutter, who was the newly appointed curator of Leeds Art Gallery (then Leeds City Art Gallery) at the time, with the support of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, Michael Sadler, the LACF was established to encourage the visual arts in Leeds and, most importantly, to provide a source of funding that was independent of the municipality for the purchase of contemporary and historic works of art and design for the people of Leeds. Another founding member and sponsor was Frank Harris Fulford, director of the family firm C. E. Fulford Limited, which manufactured Bile Beans.
Today, most of the LACF's work is channelled through the Leeds City Art Galleries, and it operates as one of Britain's oldest supporting art gallery 'friends' organisations. Through subscriptions and fund-raising events the LACF has helped to enrich the visual life of Leeds by making purchases of art works for display in Leeds at the Leeds City Art Gallery, Temple Newsam House and Lotherton Hall. The works bought by the LACF for display in Leeds are too numerous to mention in full, but they include works by such well-known names as Thomas Chippendale, J.M.W. Turner, John Sell Cotman, John Atkinson Grimshaw, Stass Paraskos, Francis Bacon, Paula Rego, Bridget Riley, Henry Moore and Auguste Rodin.
The LACF has also supported various educational and publishing activities associated with the visual arts in Leeds, and continues to do so, not only at the Leeds City Art Galleries, but other visual art centres in Leeds, including the University of Leeds Art Gallery and East Street Arts (Vitrine project).
The LACF is an independent charity, but it maintains close links with Leeds City Council, and with other organisations with an interest in the artistic life of Leeds, including the University of Leeds, East Street Arts, the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society and local businesses. Its chairperson is Benedict Read.