Collection Review – Rutherston Loans Scheme
In 2025 we will be commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the Rutherston Loans Scheme (RLS). In 1925 Charles Rutherston (1866-1927) donated almost 500 paintings, drawings and sculptures, to Manchester Art Gallery (MAG) on the condition that the artworks would be loaned to art schools and galleries to enrich the lives and contribute to the education of ordinary people in the North of England. This collection formed the basis of the gallery’s public lending scheme which continued until the 1990s. Some of the works in the loan scheme can be seen around the gallery today, including Gallery 2 – Friends, Family and Other Animals and Gallery 12 – Out of the Crate.
Much of this collection is being moved from an inaccessible store to Manchester Art Gallery as part of a major capital project. This provides an ideal opportunity to examine the collection with residents of Manchester and provide a multiplicity of perspectives that supports research into its history and an understanding of what it could be in the future.