'5,000 Years of Faith'

August 19 2015

Image of '5,000 Years of Faith'

Picture: Apollo

I'm full of admiration for the philanthropist Jonathan Ruffer's (above) plans to create a centre for religious art in the north of England. Centred on Auckland Castle, which Ruffer bought from the Church of England (along with that series of Zurburans) and gave to a charitable trust, the new exhibition spaces will be in the Castle itself, a new gallery in Bishop Auckland, and the Bowes Museum in nearby Castle Barnard. Ruffer revels in the fact that such art is 'deeply unfashionable', and will plunder the storage rooms of museums across the country, where many great pictures are banished. You can read more about Ruffer's plans in Apollo, here.

And next time you hear anyone complaining about the impossibility of raising money for the visual arts from philanthropists outside London, remember Ruffer.

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