The British Museum has raised £100,000 from the public to enable it to secure paintings of the aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo.
The appeal was conducted on JustGiving, and it is the first time that the Museum has used crowdfunding. Donations were also received from the Friends of the British Museum and the American Friends of the British Museum.
The funds ensure that the British Museum can retain paintings and watercolours by Thomas Stoney who recorded the aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo on 20 June 1815, two days after the battle. The paintings went on display at the Museum earlier this year, in the 200th anniversary year of the Battle. The Stony Waterloo Album can now become part of the permanent collection.
The images show the landmarks and landscape of the Battle of Waterloo, as well as the grisly task of clearing the field of fallen soldiers.
The JustGiving element of the appeal surpassed its target: 89 donations totalled £115,102.
The anonymous owner offered the artworks to the Museum at a reduced price “in appreciation of” the work of the Museum’s Director, Neil MacGregor, who leaves his role next month after 13 years.
‘The chance to add the Stoney Waterloo Album to the Museum’s collection in the 200th anniversary year of the battle was one that we did not want to pass up. A generous gesture from the album’s owner allowed us to call upon the assistance of our Members and the public. I have been astounded by the kind pledges we have received from the Friends of the British Museum, the American Friends of the British Museum and those who contributed through the JustGiving website. Thanks to their assistance we have been able to add these watercolours to the collection and make them accessible to the widest possible public.”
Main image: The Farmyard of Goumont annotated burned on the 18 June 1815. © the Trustees of the British Museum