Olafur Eliasson, The Forked Forest Path (1998) at the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne. Donated by the Contemporary Art Society in 2003. © the artist, image courtesy of the artist and Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne. Photo: Anthony Carr

New CAS award aims to boost regional acquisitions

Eleanor Mills, 16.12.15
Great Works scheme will enable one major British art purchase a year
The Contemporary Art Society (CAS) announced last Friday that it would be launching an award to address the lack of work by top British contemporary artists in UK museums and galleries.

The Great Works award will enable one major work by a leading British artist to be purchased each year for a UK museum or gallery. It aims to give museums and galleries with lower budgets across the UK a chance to acquire such works, recognising that there are currently very few places outside of London that visitors can see them.

The CAS runs a Museum Membership scheme, and all 69 of those mostly-regional members will be eligible to apply for the award. Museums will be asked to present a strong case for how and why an acquisition of significant financial scale would benefit them.

Caroline Douglas, the director of the CAS said: “Collecting the art of our time is the lifeblood of a museum and it has now become practically impossible for many museums in the UK to do so without philanthropic support. It is particularly important because contemporary art appeals to young people and is often the way that they are introduced to our great museum collections.”

The Sfumato Foundation is supporting the Great Works award. The deadline for applications is the end of February 2016 and the successful applicant will be informed in March 2016. The work acquired will go on show to the public at the winning museum in 2016/17.