Independent charity The Art Fund
announced today that David Barrie is to step down as Director and Trustee this spring after seventeen distinguished years leading the organisation.
Mr Barrie will be in office until the end of May 2009 to see a number of projects through to completion and ensure a smooth succession. The process of recruiting a new Director begins immediately.
David Verey, Chairman of The Board of Trustees of The Art Fund, said: During his leadership, David has transformed The Art Fund into a highly effective modern charity, leading many successful campaigns to save some of the worlds greatest art for people across the UK to enjoy, and has established The Art Funds reputation as a powerful campaigning body fighting to make great art available to everyone.
He has been intimately involved in countless vital acquisitions for museums and galleries across the country. Among the many successful lobbying campaigns which he has led, the most significant was that to secure free admission to the UK s major museums and galleries.
We thank David for his commitment and energy, and the whole Board wishes him the very best for the future.
Speaking today, Mr Barrie said: I am proud of what we have achieved in my time at The Art Fund with the help and support of our members, volunteers, and other partners.
I believe that art has the power to transform peoples lives, and that enabling as many people as possible to experience the greatest art at first hand is a cause worth fighting for. That is the simple purpose of The Art Fund, and it is becoming more, not less important in these difficult times.
Under Mr Barries Directorship, The Art Fund has given almost £55 million to help secure over 400,000 works for 447 public collections all over the UK . Key achievements include: tripling The Art Funds membership; the securing of the Becket Casket for the V&A in 1996; the last minute campaign to save Botticellis Madonna and Child for the National Gallery of Scotland in 1999; organising and leading the long campaign to secure free admission to all national museums which came to a successful conclusion in 2001; the centenary celebrations of The Art Fund in 2003; the campaign to save the Macclesfield Psalter in 2005; the commissioning of James Turrells Deer Shelter for Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2006; the campaign to save Turners Blue Rigi in 2007; the campaign to secure Dumfries House and its contents in 2007; the launching of Art Fund International in 2007; the acquisition of Anthony dOffays ARTIST ROOMS collection of post-war and contemporary art for National Galleries of Scotland and Tate in 2008, and the sponsorship by The Art Fund of ARTIST ROOMS On Tour, announced in January 2009.