Arts funding for exhibition at Pontefract Museum

15/11/2019, PR-9231

​An award of over £7,000 of arts funding will enable Wakefield Council to bring paintings and posters by renowned travel artist Charles Pears to Pontefract Museum.

Pontefract Town Centre

The work of the prolific Pontefract-born poster artist, well known for his work to promote rail journeys to the British seaside and ocean liner travel during the hey-day of travel in the 1920s and 1930s, will be celebrated in the town next year.

Thanks to a successful application to the Weston Loan Programme, through the Art Fund, the Council will be able to borrow posters and paintings from national collections and museums including London Transport. The items will play a starring role in its exhibition, called Bracing Air, Abundant Amusements: The Travel Posters of Charles Pears – which will celebrate peaceful scenes featuring sun, sea, sand and sky.

Cllr Jacquie Speight
Cllr Jacquie Speight

​Cllr Jacquie Speight, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport at Wakefield Council, said: “Charles Pears was a prolific artist and it will be fantastic to celebrate his work in the town where he was born and raised and began his training as an artist.

“We are very proud to have been awarded this funding as it gives people in our district the opportunity to see art collections that they may not usually get to experience.”

The Pears artworks, described as ‘bold’ and ‘vibrant’, will be displayed alongside items from the museum’s social history collections, including travel and holiday themed tickets, buckets and spades, post-cards and photo albums.

Bracing Air, Abundant Amusements will run from 23 May 2020 - 27 February 2021 at Pontefract Museum.

It is the second time Wakefield Council has received funding from the Weston Loan Programme with Art.

Earlier this year Wakefield Museum opened the Gateway to Eternity exhibition, which is supported with the loan of Egyptian artefacts from the British Museum and National Museums Liverpool.

Visitors can discover Egyptian death rituals, follow their journey into the afterlife and venture into a recreated tomb, until 4 July 2020.



Notes for editors


Garfield Weston Foundation

Established over 60 years ago in 1958, the Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded, grant-making charity which supports causes across the UK with grants around £70million annually. It has donated over £1billion to charities since it was established.

One of the most respected charitable institutions in the UK, the Weston Family Trustees are descendants of the founder and they take a highly active and hands-on approach. The Foundation’s funding comes from an endowment of shares in the family business which includes Twinings, Primark, Kingsmill (all part of Associated British Foods Plc) and Fortnum & Mason, amongst others – a successful model that still endures today; as the businesses have grown so too have the charitable donations.

From small community organisations to large national institutions, the Foundation supports a broad range of charities and activities that make a positive impact in the communities in which they work. More than 1,800 charities across the UK benefit each year from the Foundation’s grants.


Art Fund

Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. In the past five years alone Art Fund has given £34million to help museums and galleries acquire works of art for their collections. Art Fund is independently funded, with the core of its income provided by 151,000 members who receive the National Art Pass and enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions and subscription to Art Quarterly magazine. In addition to grant giving, Art Fund’s support to museums includes Art Fund Museum of the Year (won by Tate St Ives in 2018) and a range of digital platforms. Find out more about Art Fund and the National Art Pass at