Global audience

This is part of a long tradition of collaboration between museums and allows people opportunities to see objects that they might not otherwise be able to – e.g. they may not be able to travel to Leicester. It is also about enabling scholarly research and the chance to exhibit our objects alongside others from other collections in a way that is very special – a chance to perhaps reunite objects that have been together in the past but now belong to different institutions that may not even be in the same country.

For example, ‘St John the Baptist entering the Wilderness’ by Lorenzo Monaco is a small predella panel from a 15th century altarpiece which depicts the Virgin Mary flanked by saints. Other panels are in the Berlin Museum, the Princeton Museum, the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, and elsewhere whilst the main panels are in the Accademia in Florence and in a Florentine private collection. In 2006 the Accademia in Florence had a major exhibition which brought many pieces of the original altarpiece back together, including this panel from Leicester Museums.

St John the Baptist entering the Wilderness
St John the Baptist entering the Wilderness

As a result of object loans, the Leicester Museums & Galleries collections become more widely known and it can encourage people to come to Leicester to see more – e.g. we have loaned Arts & Crafts objects to exhibitions and then people come to Leicester to see the permanent display that we have here. We therefore welcome requests from museums and galleries both near and far, and will consider requests which can provide our objects with suitable security and environmental conditions, specialist transport and appropriate insurance. We cannot agree to all loan requests as sometimes the objects are already ‘booked’ either for another loan or for a display here. We rarely loan out some of our ‘star’ pieces such as ‘Red Woman’ by Franz Marc, as it is a key work within our German Expressionist gallery, but we can sometimes make substitutions within the galleries.

Arts & Crafts period wooden and gesso box
Arts & Crafts period wooden and gesso box

All costs of loans are covered by the borrower and include administration of the loan agreement contract, condition checking and conservation costs (where required) as well as transport and insurance.

If you are interested in requesting a loan of a specific object or objects for an exhibition please contact us by email at least six months in advance of the start of the loan including your museum/gallery and exhibition details and object/s required.