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The Wallace Collection joins Future Cities Forum's cultural cities debate in March

Dr Xavier Bray, Director of the Wallace Collection

Future Cities Forum is delighted that Dr Xavier Bray, Director of the Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, London, is to speak at Future Cities Forum's 'Cutlural Cities' in March.

Dr Bray is an art historian specialising in Spanish art and became director of The Wallace Collection in 2016. Previously, he was Chief Curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London and the Museum of Fine Arts, Bilbao as well as Assistant Curator at the National Gallery.

Future Cities Forum will be discussing strategies for the continued financial survival of museums throughout the UK and their contribution to the social and emotional well-being of city populations. The Wallace Collection recently received a grant from the Garfield Weston Foundation to support its activities.

The Wallace Collection commented that:

'The support will be vital in helping the Collection to encourage visitors back to the museum after the pandemic.'

With the recent news that the Garfield Weston Foundation has given grants to important museums outside London such as the Birmingham Museums Trust, MAC in Belfast and the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, Future Cities Forum will be holding its regional 'Cultural Cities' event next month.

The Foundation has announced over £30 million in grants to Arts organisations across the UK via the Weston Culture Fund. The fund was created by the Weston family in response to the devastating impact of Covid-19, and is supporting a diverse range of organisations from museums to regional theatres and national touring ballet companies. Grants range from £100,000 up to £1.5 million based on the size of the organisation.

The Foundation's Trustees decided to increase the fund by more than 20% to over £30 million after seeing the level of creativity and determination from Arts organisations which had been hit by the pandemic and which are fighting hard to 'keep the lights on.'

The Garfield Weston Foundation's Director, Philippa Charles said:

'We all want and need our cultural sector to thrive and, if anything, our time away from the Arts has shown just how important they are to us - bringing much needed pleasure and enrichment to our lives. Arts organisations are desperate to re-open and get back to what they do best and we hope that this new funding will help many of them do exactly that.'

As one of Britain's preeminent cultural institutions, the Wallace is home to one of the most significant ensembles of fine and decorative arts in the world. Highlights include oil paintings from the fourteenth to late nineteenth centuries by artists such as Titian, Velazquez, Rubens and Van Dyck; princely arms and armour and one of the finest collections of eighteenth century French paintings and decorative arts. Visitors can also enjoy medieval and Renaissance objects, including Limoges enamel, maiolica, glass and bronzes.

Dr Bray completed his PhD in 1999 at Trinity College , Dublin on Goya as a painter of religious imagery and since joining the Wallace Collection has overseen and co-curated several exhibitions including 'Richard Wallace: The Collector and most recently, with the writer William Dalrymple, 'Forgotten Masters: Indian Painting for the East India Company.


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