The Artists’ General Benevolent Institution (AGBI) was founded in 1814 by members of the Royal Academy of Arts including J.M.W Turner, John Constable and John Soane and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1842. It is one of the oldest charities in the United Kingdom.
The AGBI financially supports professional artists in need and their dependents living in England, Wales or Northern Ireland who cannot work or earn due to accident, illness or older age.
Any professional artist, painter, sculptor, illustrator or art teacher at A-level or above can apply for help from the AGBI if they have earned their living (or major part of it) from art. Widows and orphaned children of artists are also eligible for help. Unfortunately, the AGBI is unable to assist in cases when an artist is unable to find a market for their work. The AGBI is unable to assist with legal fees, business difficulties or education grants for mature students.
The charity is run by a Council of mainly practising artists, applied artists, art custodians and medical professionals who give their time freely and meet regularly to discuss cases. The Council is supported by a small team of staff.