Artists' General Benevolent Institution

Supporting professional visual artists
and their families since 1814
Supporting professional visual artists and their families since 1814
Supporting professional visual artists and their families since 1814
Case Studies
The AGBI supports artists who are in difficult circumstances. When an artist’s life, career and health start to collapse the AGBI is often the only benevolent fund to which they can turn. The support we give is person-centered, meaning we do our best to help our applicants in the most appropriate and meaningful way.

We have included some quotes around what people say about the support that we provide, along with recent case studies outlining how we've helped. Please note the names have been changed to protect the anonymity of the artists involved.
“I am at last back in my studio following my heart attack, albeit shorter hours now as my energy levels have dropped significantly. I have to pace myself. Your grant was incredibly helpful making a big difference to me during those traumatic times”.
“The AGBI was a life saver that got us through a very rough time”

“I wanted to simply say thank you for caring. It means a lot”.
“She was a hugely influential teacher over many years. I am aware, of course, that she has had considerable health problems in recent years though I know she has always continued to paint as much as she can despite the problems, your help has contributed to her recovery, I cannot emphasise this enough”

Honor's Story
Honor is 19 years old and she has been supported by our Children’s Fund since her mother died in 2015. Her mother was a sculptor who lived and worked in Cornwall. The AGBI supported Honor’s mother for several years whilst she was unable to work during her illness. When she died, our financial support transferred to Honor to help with her school and then her college expenses.

Honor comes from a family of visual artists; her grandfather was a painter who taught at Camberwell College of Arts. Honor had always wanted to be a painter and attend one of the leading London art schools. But without the financial support of her mother, leaving Cornwall and studying in London was looking increasingly difficult due to the higher living costs. Once all the available student loans had been successfully awarded Honor still had a funding shortfall and needed our support.

Honor came to meet the AGBI team to discuss her situation and complete an application form to apply for funding. The Children’s Fund Committee agreed to award Honor a monthly grant of £500 to support her art materials and living costs whilst she remains at art school. Our grants have made a significant difference to Honor’s situation who wrote to say:

“I would like to say a massive thank you to the AGBI for offering this funding to people like me from less fortunate backgrounds and in difficult situations. It has made such a huge difference and allowed me to study and explore different artists' techniques and processes. I love my course and I am looking forward to a career as an artist, it’s all I ever wanted.”

Martin's Story
Martin is a landscape painter who lives and works in Cornwall. His work has been exhibited and sold through established professional galleries in central London. The AGBI has supported Martin for several years since he was diagnosed with cancer and chronic depression. His physical and mental health issues have significantly affected his wellbeing. Martin was once a prolific painter but has struggled to paint since his diagnosis.

He was referred to the AGBI by a fellow painter who was concerned about Martin’s declining mental health following several operations and chemotherapy. During the application process it became clear that Martin would benefit greatly from a short respite break, so in discussion with Martin a week-long respite break to Scotland was organised and funded by the AGBI.

The AGBI also recommended help be given to replenish his art materials so he could paint the Scottish landscapes during his respite break.

Veronica's Story
Veronica is a contemporary sculptor who lives and works in London. Her partner died in 2020 leaving Veronica to bring up their young daughters on her own. She is a commercially successful artist but struggled as a single parent to maintain her career and bring up two young children since her partner’s death. The pressures on Veronica were considerable and she was not coping without the help of her partner.

There were not enough hours in the day to go to the studio, drop off and collect her daughters from school and manage the home, so her practice began to suffer.

The AGBI Children’s Fund, which helps children who have lost the support of one or both parents, agreed an application to help Veronica and her daughters with funding for additional child care after school to enable Veronica more time in her studio during the week. Our help has made an enormous difference to this young family who were experiencing difficult times.

Supporting professional visual artists and their families since 1814

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