Eight curators to gun for £75,000 Craft Council Collect kitty at Saatchi Gallery in May

By Culture24 Staff | 07 April 2011
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A photo of a man looking through a whole in a small circular craft piece
The Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art is hoping for a repeat success at the Craft Council Collect scheme© Mark Crick
Eight curatorial hopefuls will have the chance to share £75,000 by picking a contemporary piece from the Craft Council’s annual art fair.

The Collect prize, a joint initiative between the Council and the Art Fund, has announced a shortlist of gallery experts to take part in an Easter Egg hunt-style race around the Saatchi Gallery on May 5 2011.

Entering the fair before private buyers and VIPs, they will have an hour to peruse stalls from 37 international galleries before choosing one object they want to keep.

A photo of a man in a suit looking at tall colourful circular vases
Andrew Renton, of National Museums Wales, with Red Stripe (2008) by Rachael Woodman© Mark Crick
For the first time since the scheme started in 2008, each curator will have to explain their decision in a verbal presentation to the judges, who say they will reward “vision and ambition”.

This year’s finalists have been selected from 18 applicants, and include former winner Penny Sexton, the curator who won an exquisite £17,000 piece of Japanese lacquer for the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter last year.

National Museum Wales, which came away with the £6,500 Red Stripe sculpture in 2009, is also aiming for a repeat win.

“It’s fantastic to see that Art Fund Collect continues to draw some of the UK’s most talented curators, and we’re pleased that this year’s shortlist includes past competitors as well as some new names,” said Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to snap up outstanding pieces from international makers at the top of their field on behalf of the public collections across the UK.”

Crafts Council Executive Director Rosy Greenlees called Collect a “significant” award for domestic contemporary craft.

“As the Crafts Council celebrates its 40th anniversary this year by developing our own collection, it is heartening to see the desire of curators across the UK to collect world-class contemporary craft for their institutional collections,” she added.

The Collect 2011 shortlist:

  • Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Fiona Slattery and Martin Ellis, Curators of Applied Arts

  • National Museum Wales - Amgueddfa Cymru Rachel Conroy, Assistant Curator

  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter Penny Sexton, Curator and Holly Morgenroth, Assistant Curator Natural History

  • Leeds Museums and Galleries Polly Putnam, Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts

  • Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art James Beighton, Curator and Vicky Sturrs, Education Officer

  • Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery Francesca Vanke, Curator of Decorative Arts and Dr Andrew Moore, Keeper of Art and Senior Curator

  • Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery Pamela Wood, Keeper of Decorative Arts and Deborah Dean, Visual Arts and Exhibitions Manager

  • Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery Alison Cooper, Assistant Keeper of Art
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