British Group Helps Working-Class Folk Buy Art

11/30/2009 1:18 PM |

Own Art

On Saturday the Telegraph published an exciting article about Own Art, a group set up by the UK’s Arts Council that helps middle- to low-income art enthusiasts buy contemporary art on installment plans from over 250 galleries throughout Britain. Since 2004, Own Art has made over 14,500 interest-free loans for works worth up to £2,000 (US$ 3,280) for a total of £11.6 million (US$ 19 million).

The Telegraph interviews a few buyers who’ve used the program to acquire several artworks, like a human rights lawyer, a car factory worker and, most awesomely, a pig farmer who lives in a trailer. And they’re not just buying watercolors of rolling hills. The interviewees’ collections include pieces by Peter Blake, David Hockney, Terry Frost, Victor Pasmore and, yes, Damien Hirst. Says David Pike, the pig farmer:

It shows how working men can still be intellectual and capable of deep thought, which I like because although I do manual labour, I’m an intellectual.

So, what are you waiting for, NEA?