Arts Council Collection launches regional partnership scheme

Four museums to display artworks from national loan collection
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Geraldine Kendall Adams
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The Arts Council Collection has announced a four-year partnership scheme to bring its loan collection of modern and contemporary British art to regional museums in England.

The scheme, which will be sponsored by Christie’s auction house for the first two years, will see the development of a programme of exhibitions and displays at Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Leeds Museums and Galleries, Manchester Art Gallery and the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

The Arts Council Collection will provide partner museums with curatorial and technical support towards developing displays. In addition, one curator from a regional museum will be offered a place on the council’s acquisitions committee each year.

Caroline Douglas, head of the Arts Council Collection, said: “Having a representative from one of the partner institutions on the acquisitions committee gives direct access to the processes of growing a national collection, and gives us an even greater understanding of the needs of our stakeholders around the country.”

The sponsorship from Christie’s will go directly to the museums for curatorial research, transport, display and education. Nearly a hundred artworks have been earmarked for display in the first year of the partnership programme.

In the first display under the scheme, Leeds Museums and Galleries last week unveiled a large-scale installation piece, Kabinett der Abstrakten (after El Lissitsky), 2003, by UK-based Polish sculptor Goshka Macuga. The artwork will be on display at the museum until August.

Culture minister Ed Vaizey said: “This is an innovative piece of corporate philanthropy, bringing a truly exciting exhibitions programme to four excellent collections based in the regions.”

The Arts Council Collection supports British artists by acquiring and displaying their work through its national loan collection. It is managed by the Southbank Centre, London, on behalf of Arts Council England and based in the capital and in Longside Gallery at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.



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