Art Happens | Art Fund
Art Happens by Art Fund is the UK’s first crowdfunding platform designed especially for museums and galleries. Chocolate Films has produced several crowd-funding short films to raise money with Art Happens.
Raising money for a local legend
For over 60 years Samson & Hercules was a nightclub and local landmark in Norwich. Statues of the mythical legends stood proudly outside its entrance. Then, in 2014, an amazing discovery was made. Inside the fibreglass version was a wooden statue of Samson from the 17th century. Help A Hirsute Hero Through a mixture of archive footage along with commentary from local presenter (and Samson expert) Chris Bailey, we told the story of how a legend was rediscovered. The Museum of Norwich needed donations to preserve and exhibit Samson in a state-of-the-art display case. So, the purpose of this film was about raising awareness and funds. The target was set at £15,000, which they managed to exceed.
Shining a light on the legacy of Florence Nightingale
2020 marked the bicentenary of the birth of healthcare pioneer and female icon Florence Nightingale. It’s an anniversary that the Florence Nightingale Museum intends to celebrate by staging a new exhibition that will highlight her lasting legacy in nursing and public healthcare. As part of our collaboration with Art Fund UK, we created a film to support the Museum’s crowdfunding campaign to raise £15,000 on the Art Happens platform. This film tells potential donors the story of Florence Nightingale and her groundbreaking achievements through the words of Anne Marie Rafferty, the President of the Royal College of Nursing, and a variety of objects and photographs from her time.
Rescuing a forgotten Welsh Sculpture
Chocolate Films produced a fundraising appeal by Chapter Arts Centre to restore a forgotten sculpture. This is a bilingual (Welsh/English) fundraising film produced by Chocolate Films for Art Fund. The organisation sought to raise £18,000 in small donations to restore an iconic piece of sculpture by acclaimed artist Garth Evans. The piece had been moved from Cardiff to Leicestershire in 1972, where it was hidden and neglected for over forty years. The campaign was a great success and exceeded the target amount. For this project we filmed new footage in Cardiff and combined it with archive photographs of the work and audio interviews from the early 70s.
Art Fund helped the Wallace Collection, an amazing museum in Central London, gain funds to restore two Canaletto paintings and their frames. The pictures are famous for their views of Venice and have been damaged over the years by layers of varnish and retouching, as well as the colours becoming subdued. The film was shot at the Wallace Collection in one day with one camera and following a Chocolate Films script, explaining the history of the paintings and why they are so important. The objective was to raise funds through crowdsourcing while the film explained what needs to be done and who would be doing it.
Saving a historic frame
One of the most treasured paintings in a famous collection owned by the great architect Sir John Soane is The Snake in the Grass by Sir Joshua Reynolds. It depicts a classical nymph possibly portrayed by Lady Hamilton (aka Admiral Nelson’s mistress). The painting’s original gilded frame is a significant work in its own right, as many historic paintings had their frames removed. However, that frame was in desperate need of restoration. We worked with Sir John Soane’s Museum to write the script, used archive material to tell the story behind the frame and provided a glimpse into how it would be restored. Art Fund‘s Art Happens project sets up crowdfunding campaigns across the country. This film was aimed at raise £15,000 to save the frame. Shortly after the campaign was launched a private donor came forward with £5,000, and the museum reached its target.
Redressing the Pleasure Gardens
The Pleasure Gardens at the Museum of London is described as ‘an immersive space inspired by the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens in its heyday’. The gallery includes twelve mannequins dressed in clothing and accessories from the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Before any new piece of rare clothing (some of which can be up to 250 years old) can go on display, it will need to be conserved and have a custom-made mannequin produced. Our film took viewers behind the scenes to give would be donors an insight into how those pieces are cared for. The museum set a target of £10,000 and the campaign proved to be so successful they smashed that figure by 33 per cent.
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