The Friends of Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery (FPCMAG) is a registered charity whose principal purpose was to support our work and help us acquire objects for public display.

Photograph showing people talking or sitting in a gallery which has paintings along one wall painted blue,

The Friends raised money through annual subscriptions and special events.

Since their establishment in 1951, these activities enabled the Friends to help us acquire a wide variety of objects for our permanent collections and galleries. You can see a selection of images of Friends’ events on Flickr.



The Friends of Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery (FPCMAG) was founded on Tuesday 27 November 1951 with HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT as patron. They celebrated their 60th anniversary in 2011.

The group was originally named the Friends of Buckland Abbey and Plymouth Museum. The first President was The Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, the Vice President was Sir Harold Harmsworth and Viscountess Astor accepted an invitation to be a Committee member.

Photograph showing three people standing to the left of a painting and two people stood to the right of a painting, which is in a gallery.On 7 March 1986 at an Extraordinary General Meeting their name was changed to The Friends of Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery and the National Trust resumed responsibility for Buckland Abbey.

The object of the fund was to enrich the existing collections by the acquisition of suitable works of art and other appropriate material. Since that time they have raised several thousand pounds to support acquisitions. These include:

  • paintings and sketches of local scenes by famous Westcountry artists
  • a Victorian longcase clock by a Plymouth clockmaker
  • 18th century silverware by Plymouth craftsmen
  • the Barstow collection of minerals from Devon and Cornwall
  • locally discovered treasure items
  • exhibition cases and gallery seating by Alan Peters OBE
  • Reynolds sketchbook and portrait.

Along the way they have also enjoyed a number of social events and activities both in and out of the Museum. These include private views, exhibition launches and visits to country houses, art galleries and museums.