Heritage Volunteering

Tate Britain, where some of our Heritage Volunteers work, recently produced a Volunteer Newsletter which included an article by Glenys Crane, who organises our Volunteers.  This is reproduced below:

Glenys Crane

Glenys is one of a group of Arts Society members (previously NADFAS) who volunteer in the Tate Britain Archives

The founding group of us commenced way back in 1976! A recent member clocked up over thirty years! Currently there are nineteen of us – and is it okay to say what an enjoyable time we have? Derek and Nicky look after us admirably with a regular supply of chocolate digestives and access to the kitchen area.

Our volunteer tasks are to prepare selected published articles on art and exhibitions for storage in Archives, where they can be accessed by researchers.

We could say that we ‘cut and paste’ (and in days gone by volunteers did indeed use brushes and pots of glue). Nowadays, with advances in published layouts of words and pictures in newspapers, etc., we have to plan the presentation of each article to fit A4. We all obviously enjoy art and it can be galling to read of an exhibition, now gone, which we have missed. 

Often, when cutting a sensational heading, I think back to the old films where criminals made anonymous letters out of cut up printed words!

I have thoroughly enjoyed Tate Christmas parties – the romance of drinking prosecco and nibbling tasty things in the atmospheric presence of the familiar Pre-Raphaelite paintings!

In 2018, to celebrate 50 years of the Arts Society (then NADFAS), Derek and Nicky invited all members to a special Archives Open Day. This was fascinating – and to be so close to real Bloomsbury, Hockney, Turner’s palette and First Editions!

As my knowledge grows I appreciate more art and amongst my favourites are Kirchner, Tissot, Cellini, Sorolla, Matisse, Hockney, Bronzino and Duncan Grant. Probably the artist who best represents me is Hockney as I have always enjoyed his optimistic colours and line drawings and the way that life is in his work. He has influenced my colour palette when I paint.

However, if I could take home a painting from Tate Britain it would be Stanhope Forbes’ The Health of the Bride. I can look at it for ages and soak up the sentiments of each person.


If you would like to know more about our Heritage Volunteering programme and the exiciting places that you could work, please talk to Glenys who is in the Main Hall before the Lectures, or click HERE for a form to Contact Us to enquire about Heritage Volunteering.


Banner Illustration: Guillaumin Bridge of Louis Phillipe  , Open access image Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington