Arts Council Collection launches Acquisitions Fund - Museums Association

Arts Council Collection launches Acquisitions Fund

Patrons to introduce £40,000 fund at Frieze London
Art Funding
Everlyn Nicodemus's work Silent Strength 36, 1990, is a recent acquisition made by the Arts Council Collection
Everlyn Nicodemus's work Silent Strength 36, 1990, is a recent acquisition made by the Arts Council Collection © Everlyn Nicodemus, Image courtesy of the artist and Richard Saltoun, London

The Arts Council Collection will launch its inaugural Acquisitions Fund at Frieze London 2023, which runs 11-15 October in Regent’s Park.

The new fund’s purchasing power of £40,000 has been made available by a select group of patrons and led by Deborah Smith, the director of the Arts Council Collection.

The Arts Council’s acquisitions committee will make the final choice of early-career and overlooked UK artists that will be added to the collection following a rigorous research and selection process.

The selection committee includes artist John Walter; Harriet Cooper, programme director at Jerwood Visual Arts; Vanessa Peterson, Frieze associate editor, writer, and photographer; Marie-Anne McQuay, director of projects at Art & Heritage; Ralph Rugoff, director of Hayward Gallery; Peter Heslip, director of visual arts at Arts Council England; Deborah Smith, director of Arts Council Collection, and is chaired by Nicholas Serota, chair of Arts Council England.

Deborah Smith, the director of the Arts Council Collection, said: “We are proud to announce the launch of the inaugural Arts Council Collection Acquisitions Fund at Frieze London this October. 

"This fund highlights our ongoing commitment to support early career and overlooked UK-based artists by acquiring their work and sharing it with the widest possible audiences for their enjoyment.”

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The Arts Council Collection lends works to museums and galleries across the UK and abroad and runs a regular programme of touring exhibitions.

Currently on tour is the exhibition Found Cities Lost Objects – Women in the City, which has been curated by artist Lubaina Himid and opened at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, toured to Southampton City Art Gallery, then the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol, with a final showing at Leeds Art Gallery from 8 December 2023 to 21 April 2024.

Grayson Perry’s tapestry series, The Vanity of Small Differences, go on show at Lincoln Museum from 23 September 2023 to 21 January 2024.

The collection is currently piloting a new schools programme, Take Two, where 30 artworks have been installed in 15 selected primary and secondary schools across West Yorkshire, South London and Coventry for a duration of two years. 

The Arts Council Collection is at a critical junction in its history as it begins to consolidate and move of its collection to Coventry in 2025. The collection – more than 8,100 works by nearly 2,200 artists – is currently held in London.

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