Winning museum curators will have the opportunity to buy contemporary crafts like this piece of jewellery by Zoe Arnold. Photo: Zoe Arnold
The Art Fund, the UK’s leading independent art charity, has announced the ten shortlisted museums who are in the running to spend a share of a £50,000 fund on contemporary craft at the V&A’s craft fair, Collect 2008.
The new initiative, Art Fund Collect, was launched in partnership with the Craft Council during October 2007 and invited museums to apply for the opportunity to gain privileged preview access to Collect 2008.
A total of 23 galleries and museums from across the country applied, and now ten have the chance to select one significant contemporary craft object for their collection during a special VIP preview of the major international art fair staged at the V&A, London, January 25 to 29 2008.
“Great works of contemporary craft are still available for affordable sums if you seize the opportunity offered by fairs like Collect,” said David Barrie, Director of The Art Fund.
“This strategic and active intervention by The Art Fund is designed to bypass the often cumbersome decision-making processes and enable museum curators to be able to compete with private collectors to acquire the very best work now being made.”
The ten shortlisted museums and galleries are:
Ulster Museum, Belfast
Hove Museum, Brighton & Hove
National Museum Wales, Cardiff
McManus Galleries and Museum, Dundee
Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead
Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston
York Museums Trust
Each museum will submit its choice of object by 1pm on January 24 to a committee, who will then choose the winners of the share of the £50,000 fund.
The Art Fund Collect Committee members are: Chair, Jonathan Marsden, Art Fund Trustee; David Barrie, Director of The Art Fund; Sir Nicholas Goodison, collector and former Chairman of The Art Fund; and Rosy Greenlees, Director of the Crafts Council.
A further £5,000 donated by patrons of the Craft Council is available for the purchase of an additional object by a UK maker for one of the shortlisted museums. The winner will also be chosen by the Art Fund Collect Committee as part of the initiative.