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Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 - 17:00
Sundays & Bank Holidays: 12:00 - 17:00


  • Main entrance at the Founder's Building
    Main entrance at the Founder's Building © Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Throughout its history, The Fitzwilliam Museum has been dependent upon the generosity of its supporters.  Like the buildings which house them, the collections have grown thanks to gifts, bequests and grants from external sources, both private and public.  The Director is always happy to hear from potential donors and benefactors. He and his colleagues will be pleased to advise on tax-efficient donations of works of art as well as financial contributions, including legacies and the donation of shares and securities.   All gifts and bequests are acknowledged; donors’ names are displayed alongside works of art they have given and in galleries they have either built or refurbished.  There are a number of naming opportunities for major gifts.


The following are some of the ways you may like to consider supporting the Museum:

The Friends of the Fitzwilliam were founded in 1909, the first such support group in Britain.  The Friends enjoy many benefits and annual contributions are used to enrich the Museum’s collections.

Join the Friends of the Fitzwilliam

Founded in 1816, from the bequest of Richard, 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merion, the Fitzwilliam Museum has evolved, by bequest and acquisition, into one of the great treasuries of art in Britain. Over the years, Lord Fitzwilliam’s superb Old Master paintings, prints, books and manuscripts have been augmented and added to by purchase and benefaction to create one of the most representative and beautiful art museums in the world. Some 500,000 masterpieces, large and small, ranging from antiquity to the present day, are displayed in a magnificent Neoclassical building in the heart of Cambridge. The Fitzwilliam is the principal museum of the University of Cambridge, and, from its inception, has been a centre for research, scholarship and teaching – a mission that it still fulfills to this day – while the Museum’s Hamilton Kerr Institute for Painting Conservation maintains an international reputation in its field. A much-loved public museum with ambitious exhibition, education and outreach programmes, the Fitzwilliam now welcomes well over 300,000 visitors every year. Designated by the government as of national importance and open free of charge to all, the Fitzwilliam Museum will celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2016.

Yet the success of the Fitzwilliam Museum very much depends on the generosity of its supporters. Whilst our core funds come from the University of Cambridge, the Higher Education Funding Council of England and the Arts Council, we rely increasingly on donations from foundations and charities, and from private individuals, in order to continue our work of caring for the building and collections. Chief amongst these is the Marlay Group, the highest level of museum membership, a small circle of generous private supporters who make it possible for the Museum to conserve its collections, refurbish its galleries, mount exhibitions, produce education programmes and publications, and support staff posts. The Marlay Group members – named after Charles Brinsley Marlay, one of the Museum’s greatest benefactors - occupy a very special place in the Museum, and this is recognised by invitations to a programme of friendly and exclusive social and cultural activities – including the Director’s annual dinner, behind-the-scenes tours, visits to museums, exhibitions and private collections, and much more. Our need for your support has never been greater. I very much hope that you will consider joining the Marlay Group, and help the Fitzwilliam Museum flourish as a place of knowledge, inspiration and beauty.


Tim Knox, FSA
Director and Marlay Curator

Membership benefits

  • Private Views of major exhibitions at the Fitzwilliam
  • Exploration of the Fitzwilliam collections with opportunities to see the curators and conservators at work and learn more about the works of art
  • Private Views at selected major exhibitions in London with curator-led tours
  • Visits to country houses and gardens or other regional museums
  • Annual Director’s Dinner at the Fitzwilliam
  • Study trip abroad including exclusive private visits – recent destinations include Antalya, Genoa and Munich
  • Annual Marlay Lecture at the Fitzwilliam
  • What’s On guide delivered quarterly, allowing you advanced booking for all public programme events


From £1350 a year, patronage is a great way of supporting the Museum and developing your knowledge of historical and contemporary art in a welcoming and social environment.

Download application form

US tax payers may wish to support the Museum via Cambridge in America, a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization (recognised by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service).

For further information please contact:

Development Office
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1RB

Tel.: +44 (0)1223 332 921


The Fitzwilliam Museum Society was established to encourage members' interest in the Museum and its magnificent collections and to foster interest in art and architecture. It is £10 for an annual membership. This includes free entry to all FMS events as well as unique members’-only opportunities. Members receive up to date information about current exhibitions and special events, exclusive talks and tours, and great opportunities to maintain links with the Museum for those interested in a career within the museums and galleries sector. Membership to FMS also provides a university-wide social network of students interested in the arts, from the dilettante to the dedicated artist.

Don't join the ranks of students who never discover the delights of an hour or more in the peaceful and stimulating galleries of the Fitzwilliam. Join the Society now!

To join the FMS mailing list and receive information about events and activities for members, simply email the Secretary at

Vist the Society's website


We work closely with corporate partners to create tailored sponsorship packages which meet their business objectives.

Your business could support:

Temporary and high profile exhibitions which enjoy the benefit of marketing support and high attendance figures
An engagement and outreach programme to demonstrate your commitment to the local community
Conservation of particular items in the collection with a corporate acknowledgement

In return, Sponsors may receive benefits like:

Opportunities for client entertainment at Private Views or other museum events
Naming acknowledgements within the museum and inclusion in high profile publicity
Engagement with the Museum’s event calendar and development activity.

If your business is interested in working with the Fitzwilliam Museum, please Contact Us:

Development Office
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1RB

Office tel: 01223 332 921

Office email:


Over the years legacies have proved vital to the Museum in supporting acquisitions, education, conservation, and research. If you would like future generations to enjoy the Fitzwilliam Museum as you have, please consider making a bequest in your will.

Leaving a bequest to the Museum could help to reduce the tax burden on your estate.  If the gross value of your estate on death is over the Inheritance Tax threshold, your estate will be liable for Inheritance Tax. A gift in your will to the Fitzwilliam Museum may reduce that excess and thereby reduce or eliminate the tax bill.

Should you wish to bequeath a work of art to our collection, we suggest you contact us first, to ensure that we will be able to display it appropriately.

For more information on the benefits of legacies to The Fitzwilliam Museum and information on ways to include the Museum in your will please contact the Development Office.


The Development Office
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge CB2 1RB
Tel: 01223 332939
Fax: 01223 332923

Philanthropy is vital to the future of the Fitzwilliam Museum for:

  • Restoring and maintaining works of art through conservation
  • Presenting innovative temporary exhibitions
  • Continuing our commitment to high quality education programmes and research
  • Purchasing key acquisitions
  • Ensuring free access and meeting the needs of over 300,000 visitors each year


You can support the Fitzwilliam Museum by:

  • Giving in person through the Museum’s donation boxes
  • Sending a cheque by post payable to ‘The Fitzwilliam Museum’. Please find our postal address on the Contact Us page.
  • An online contribution via the University’s Development and Alumni Relations Office by specifying that you wish your donation to come to The Fitzwilliam Museum – please click the orange ‘Give online’ button on the right of the page.
  • Making a gift of quoted shares or securities. Generous tax benefits are available for donors of shares and securities listed on the stock exchange. Such gifts are exempt from capital gains tax and the donor will receive income tax relief on the full market value of shares at the time of sale. Please contact us to discuss how to make a gift by this means.


Gift Aid

If you are a UK taxpayer and would like your gift to be tax effective, Gift Aid allows you to increase the value of your donation without incurring any extra cost. We are able to reclaim tax you have paid at the basic rate which means that we can receive an additional 25p from HM Revenue and Customs for every £1 you donate. It really does make a difference, so please complete and return our Gift Aid Form with your donation if you are eligible.


Donating from the USA

Donations from the USA, which are tax deductible, should be made to Cambridge in America, which is a US foundation with charitable 501© 3 status. Please direct gifts to: Cambridge in America, 1120 Avenue of the Americas, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10036, USA. Donors may ask the Board to allocate their gift to The Fitzwilliam Museum.

To discuss these giving opportunities or for more information, please .



It is only with philanthropic support that the museum has achieved these remarkable accomplishments. Read about our recent projects.