An Art Fund grant enabled the acquisition of Tracey Emin's 2002 neon work, I Know I Know I Know, by the Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool

Grants available to help curators develop acquisition skills

Geraldine Kendall Adams, 22.11.2016
Art Fund scheme aims to help museums to build their collections
Applications are open for the Art Fund’s £300,000 New Collecting Awards programme, which seeks to foster acquisition skills and help museums build their collections.
 
Now in its third year, the programme offers curators 100% of the funding they need for focused, research-led projects aimed at expanding collections related to fine art, design or visual culture. It is particularly aimed at curators in the early stages of their careers or those who have had limited opportunities to collect thus far.

The fund typically awards grants of between £50,000 and £80,000, with up to £5,000 of the grant set aside for professional development.

This year, because a majority of previous awards have focused on modern and contemporary fine or applied art, the Art Fund is keen to encourage curators with an interest in historic collections to apply so priority will be given in this area. Additionally, with support from the Ruddock Foundation of the Arts, one award has been ring-fenced to support a curator who wishes to build a pre-1600 collection for their museum.

The fund is open to curators at Accredited museums or galleries across the UK. Freelancers can also apply, provided they are affiliated with an Accredited institution for the duration of their project.

The fund has enabled a number of significant artworks to be collected, including a neon Tracey Emin artwork chosen by Richard Parry, the curator of Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool, who received a grant of £80,000 last year to build a collection of light-based art. Other acquisitions include collections of 20th-century Northern European Modernist jewellery and Soviet numismatic material.

The deadline for grant applications is 7 December. Visit the Art Fund’s website for more information.

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