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The Art

Search for information about all the works of art and craft we have donated to museums

oil on canvas

Stage Set with Classical Buildings and Sculpture, by John Armstrong. © the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

Gifts and Bequests

Museums subscribing to our Museum Member schemes for fine art and craft are eligible to be considered for gifts and bequests. 

The Contemporary Art Society is regularly approached with offers of gifts and bequests. Our Acquisitions Advisory Committees review the suitability of these for museum acquisition, alongside the CAS curatorial team. We are pleased to review offers of work by living artists or artists active within the period of the history of the CAS (1910 to the present). 

Director CAS and the Senior Curator for Museum Acquisitions manage gifts and bequests personally, in the first instance discussing the wishes of the donor with them, and then offering advice as to the most suitable collections to approach. Our knowledge of the strengths of so many collections around the country is a benefit in this regard. 

In the case of lifetime gifts as well as bequests, the CAS will undertake due diligence research into the donor on behalf of the recipient museum. Title in these works passes briefly to the CAS before the donation to the museum is completed; this allows us to place conditions on the donation which donors often find attractive. We formally agree the wording of the credit line to accompany the works with the donor. Our Terms of Agreement with the recipient museum also stress that should the museum no longer wish to hold the work within their collections, it may not sell the work but must instead return it to the CAS. 

The Contemporary Art Society can also manage donations of works that are offered through the Acceptance in Lieu and Cultural Gifts schemes administrated by Arts Council England on behalf of the DCMS. 

The Contemporary Art Society makes no formal charge for managing gifts and bequests. However, in cases where there is a large volume or complex material to place, we may have a discussion with the donor about making a contribution to the CAS to reflect the amount of staff time involved in administrating the donations.

Other Ways to Support

There are many ways to support our charitable mission.


Browse recent Gifts and Bequests


charcoal, gouache and graphite on paper