Museums encouraged to apply to acquisitions fund - Museums Association

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Museums encouraged to apply to acquisitions fund

V&A manages the fund, which is supported by arts council lottery money
The acquisition of Newborn, by Rigby Graham, 1959, was supported by a £2,700 grant
The acquisition of Newborn, by Rigby Graham, 1959, was supported by a £2,700 grant © Leicester Museums & Galleries

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is keen to encourage applications to the Purchase Grant Fund that it manages on behalf of the sector.

The fund, which is supported by Arts Council England lottery money, helps regional museums in England and Wales make new acquisitions. 

The minimum purchase price is £500 and the maximum is £500,000. The maximum grant is 50% of the purchase price.

The total budget in 2023/24 is £725,000, and so far this financial year the fund has committed £563,436 in grant offers.

Leanne Manfredi, national programmes lead at the V&A, said: “The fund supports local authority museums and galleries as well as independent and voluntary-led organisations. We consider how the acquisition fits with collection priorities and impact on audiences. We particularly welcome applications from organisations in the north west, Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, north east and those museums and galleries based in Wales.”

Each year the fund considers about 100 applications and enables acquisitions of around £3m to go ahead. The fund has been run by the V&A since 1881.

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More information on historic acquisitions made, eligibility criteria and application process can be found here.

Vanishing Point 24 (Mignard), by Barbara Walker – © Pallant House Gallery

Recent acquisitions include Vanishing Point 24 (Mignard) by Barbara Walker, which was purchased in 2022/23 by Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, West Sussex, following a £5,000 grant from the Purchase Grant Fund. The artwork explores ideas of power, visibility and erasure, addressing the underrepresentation of Black figures in western art history and particularly in public collections.

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