Projects We Have Supported

For over fifty years the Friends have raised funds to support Holburne projects. In the last decade we have given over £50,000 to the Museum’s Endowment Fund. We also contributed to the cost of exhibitions, computer systems, catalogue/database project and re-instatement of the Holburne’s railings and gates. We helped sponsor the Holburne’s fourth portrait prize competition.

We are delighted to have been able to enhance the Museum’s collection by supporting the purchase of works by artists who worked in Bath during the Georgian period.

John Lacon
Individual Friends have generously contributed £770 towards the purchase of a rare portrait by the Bath miniaturist John Lacon (active 1740–1757).

Gainsborough’s Landscapes: Themes and Variations (2011-2012).
The first exhibition in 50 years devoted solely to Gainsborough’s landscape paintings and drawings. The Friends donated £30,000 to support this show.

 Gainsborough's Landscapes

William Hoare, The Pitt Family of Encombe, c.1758/61
The first painting that this Bath artist sent to the Society of Artists’ exhibition shows John Pitt of Encombe House in Dorset with his wife Marcia and their first child William Morton Pitt. We contributed £1,500 towards this purchase (2009).

The Pitt Family of Encombe, c.1758/61

Thomas Lawrence, Samuel Dottin and Abel Rouss Dottin, c.1783
Pencil portraits of the two brothers who were Lawrence’s friends, made in Bath when the artist was about fourteen years old. We contributed £4,000 towards this purchase (2008).

Samuel Dottin, c.1783                                 Abel Rouss Dottin, c.1783

Thomas Barker, Princess Caraboo, c. 1817
A portrait of the young lady who turned up in the West Country in 1817, pretending to be Princess Caraboo of Javasu, and was un-masked when a description of her appeared in the Bath Chronicle. We contributed £3,000 towards this purchase (2003)

Princess Caraboo, c. 1817 

Jacob Spornberg, View of the Canal in Sydney Gardens, 1807
A watercolour view of elegant figures perambulating by the canal and new bridge in the Sydney Gardens. We contributed £300 towards this purchase (2006).

View of the Canal in Sydney Gardens, 1807

View our gallery of aquisitions

Members of the Friends Committee can be contacted by emailing