Artists' General Benevolent Institution

Helping professional artists for more than 200 years
Our History
The AGBI was founded in 1814 by members of the Royal Academy of Arts including J.M.W. Turner, John Constable and John Soane and was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1842. It is one of the oldest charities in the United Kingdom.
Our Mission
The AGBI financially supports professional artists in need and their dependents living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who cannot work or earn due to accident, illness or older age.
Our Vision
The AGBI should be at the centre of the artistic community. The AGBI should be the benevolent fund that all professional artists support. It should be supported by all other elements of the artistic community.
Our Values
We are an artist-led benevolent fund and our values underline our commitment to our applicants, staff, members and donors.

The AGBI outlines the following as our core values:
  • Being independent and artist-led at all times.
  • Possessing a generosity of spirit towards potential and current applicants.
  • Being professional in our approach to our work, acting with integrity and compassion.
  • Being compliant with high governance standards.
  • Taking care of our donations and using our resources effectively.
  • Respecting diversity, confidentiality and treating people with respect.
  • Providing our assistance in a person-centred and timely fashion.
Who do we help?
Any professional artist, no matter what their medium, can apply for help if they have earned their living or major part of it from art. Surviving partners and orphaned children of artists are also eligible to apply.



Eligibility Criteria
The AGBI looks at the training, qualifications, details of exhibitions, art-based employment and the number of years an applicant has made a living from art. The AGBI is presented with original examples of an applicant’s work and, where relevant, recent letters from an applicant’s GP or consultant confirming their medical circumstances.
How we help
The AGBI is the only benevolent fund targeted specifically to support artists in times of need. The support we give is person-centred, non-judgemental, delivered with compassion and confidential.

Support from the AGBI is given in the form of a grant for a period of one year. Sometimes this is all that is needed, but help can be longer term depending on the situation of the applicant. For these long-term cases, the circumstances are reviewed annually by the AGBI Artists Council who meet regularly and discusses each case and agrees the level of financial help an applicant needs in the coming year.

For further information about the AGBI grants programme, to refer a potential applicant or for general enquiries contact the office on 020 7734 1193.
Our Patron
The Prince of Wales

By kind permission of the photographer Hugo Burnand

The Trustees and Council of the Artists' General Benevolent Institution are pleased to announce that HRH The Prince of Wales has very graciously agreed to continue as the AGBI's Patron for a further term.

The Trustees remain grateful to the Prince for his continued support.

The Prince of Wales

By kind permission of the photographer Hugo Burnand


Case studies

Read the story of how we've helped several artists who have found themselves in need.

Bicentenary print

42 leading British artists have contributed to the making of a limited edition print celebrating our bicentenary.

Our impact

Read about our performance and the number of artists we've supported. You can also download our Annual Reports, and our yearly Impact Reports.

How to help

The recipients of our support rely on your donations, and you can donate directly from our how to help page.

There are many ways that you can help us continue the work we've done for over 200 years by donations, legacies and Gift Aid.

Artists' charity cards

Every year, we sell Christmas cards to raise funds for the AGBI. A huge thank you to everyone who purchased cards from us in 2021; all monies raised will go on to support the work that we do.

Get in contact

Click here to find our contact details and the AGBI postal address.
Are you able to support?

We're one of the UK's oldest charities, and we rely on your donations to assist artists who are facing financial hardship. We are able to accept single donations, or donations that repeat every month, and many of our generous benefactors support us with legacies in their wills. If you'd like to find out more, please follow this link to see how you can help.
Helping professional artists for more than 200 years






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