The Friends and what we do
Thomas Burton, a local businessman, established the Burton Gallery and Museum in 1951 in memory of his artist daughter, Mary, who died in 1949. He also founded the Friends of The Burton in 1952
Friends of The Burton is a charity (Reg No 281466) that supports The Burton by fundraising, sponsorship of events and acquisitions, and promotion. The Friends hold fundraising events and exhibitions, support local artists, and keep members informed of the events taking place at the gallery.
Over the years, the Friends have proved to be essential to the well-being of The Burton. In the early days, they provided the funds for many of the practical features of the Gallery and in the late 1980s, when the building was deteriorating, they raised £65,000 towards the cost of the refurbishment.
The Friends were responsible for raising £50,000 to purchase and display the Ceramic Collection, a recognition of Bideford’s important past as a pottery town, and more recently they contributed towards the purchase of the James Ravilious photographic collection, An English Eye.
Through their financial contributions, the Friends have made many projects possible including The Burton’s Young Friends Programme, Razzle Dazzle, and the Art Box.
The Friends have a membership of around 350 and their fundraising activities continue to allow them to make essential financial contributions to the cost of maintaining and preserving the building, paying for fittings, furniture, exhibitions, school visits and the restoration of some exhibits.
They work closely with the staff and Trustees of The Burton and play an important role in promoting and raising its profile regionally and nationally.
Benefits of becoming a Friend
If you decide to become a friend of The Burton you will be entitled to invitations to most Private Views, concessions on admission to any chargeable exhibitions, a quarterly newsletter and up-to-date Burton and Friends events information. You’ll also benefit from a 10% discount from all purchases over £10 in the shop and Craft Gallery. More generally, it’s an opportunity to support the Gallery.
If you have time to spare, you will be encouraged to help at functions, social events, or be a steward during some exhibitions.
We welcome young and old, and people from near and afar, to become a Friend of The Burton. Everyone is welcome to join and we would love to have you on board.