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In November 2012 The Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) held an auction of works by leading British artists in order to help raise the finals fund needed to finish the oil paintings digitisation project. This was the first time the PCF had held an event of this kind.

Tom de Freston’s painting, ‘Blasted’ was sucessfully auctioned at the event.

The evening took place at the stunning location of Dartmouth House in Mayfair, home to fellow charity, the English Speaking Union.

The evening kicked off with a reception of champagne and canapés, giving the guests one last opportunity to examine the paintings to be auctioned. Our guest speaker Sue Tilley, gave a wide ranging, witty speech covering Freud, bananas, and how paintings should be loved and enjoyed. A thrilling 45 minutes ensued as Hugh entertainingly worked his way through the 16 lots, at one point he even asked artist Tom de Freston if he thought the price was right for his painting! An impressive £55,000 was raised over the course of the evening, considerably reducing the sum left to raise.

Enormous thanks are due to the artists who so generously donated works to our cause, to Christie’s for sponsoring the event and loaning us Hugh for the evening, to Laurent Perrier for providing their delicious champagne, to RK Harrison for handling our art insurance and of course to Sue Tilley for warming up the crowd.

The money raised from the evening has made a large dent in our funding deficit. However, we are still a £100,000 short of reaching our fundraising target (in a project that has cost some £6m). With one month left to go, the pressure is on. If you would like to make a contribution, of any size to our work, we urge you to do so. In a few weeks’ time the entire national collection will be online, a whopping 210,000 paintings for all to enjoy. Help us fill the funding gap to achieve this.