In 1885 crowd-sourcing existed in Reading: 5000 people contributed to the cost of having a portrait of biscuit magnate William Isaac Palmer painted for the town. And remarkably in the 1970s Reading commissioned a modern set of Civic silver with the support of dozens of local businesses. When Palmer went on to bequeath his personal collection of contemporary Victorian art, he started the impressive art collection at Reading Museum and set a precedent for later generations of gifts from Reading people. Today the museum remains unusual as its art collection continues to grow through the support of Reading Foundation for Art, grant-giving bodies and many individuals. See familiar favourites and unexpected treasures, some with curious stories attached.