About Us

Who are FOBAG?

Friends of The Burton Art Gallery and Museum is a charity (Reg No 281466) that supports The Burton Art Gallery and Museum at Bideford, North Devon. We are involved in fundraising, sponsorship of events and acquisitions, and promotion of The Burton throughout the region. We also hold Friends events and exhibitions which raise funds, support local artists and keep our membership informed.

Committee Members

Pam Orchard

Vice Chairman

Margaret Cookson

Membership Secretary

Peter Villiers

Committee Member

David Howell

Committee Member

Irene Hahn

Deputy Membership and Newsletter Secretary


Friends of The Burton Art Gallery and Museum was formed in 1952 by Thomas Burton, who bequeathed the Gallery to Bideford in memory of his artist daughter, Mary, who died of cancer in 1949.  The Friends at that time were instrumental in funding many of the practical features in the original gallery.

By the late 1980s the building was deteriorating, and the Friends raised £65,000 towards the cost of rebuilding.

With a current membership of just under 500, the Friends have continually raised funds, paying for exhibitions, furniture and fittings, school visits, restoration of exhibits, refurbishment of the Bideford Museum, and raising £50,000 towards the purchase and display of the Ceramic Collection. 

In recent years, the Friends have paid for educational visits by schools throughout the region, for the Burton's Young Friends programme, for the Razzle Dazzle project outside the gallery, and have contributed to many more projects, including the Art Box.


We aim to work closely with the staff and Trustees of the Burton to promote their work and to raise the profile of the Burton throughout the region of North Devon.


Our Constitution is coming soon.