Leeds Art Gallery run an excellent, but not well publicised scheme. They lend original works of art to Leeds residents. It's just like a library except it's not as regular. Four times a year they lay out their collection and let you choose one to take home. The next selection day will be on Saturday 27 September, so if you live in Leeds why not go and get yourself a master piece.
I've been a member of the scheme for 6 months. It costs £12 for the year. My current painting is by Francis Kelly. He was born in 1927 in St. Paul, Minnesota and now lives in the UK.
I love the idea of the picture lending scheme. I like having art in my house, I like that it's cheap and means art is not just for posh people. It's also lots of fun going to choose a new painting every three months. You never know what you're going to come back with.
The next lending day will be the last one for a while as Leeds Art Gallery is closing for refurbishment in November. Any painting you borrow this time can be kept for twice as long for the same price.
If you want to borrow a painting you can select your painting between 11:00am and 3:00pm on Saturday 7 October. They set up a stall in the corner of the cafe. You will need to bring proof that you live in Leeds; something like a council tax statement.
You can read more about it here:
Leeds City Council's page on the lending scheme.