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Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery shortlisted for share in 75,000 scheme for contemporary craft.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery shortlisted for share in 75,000 scheme for contemporary craft.

6th April 2011

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery shortlisted for share in £75,000 scheme for contemporary craft.

The Art Fund and the Crafts Council today announce that Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery has been shortlisted for Art Fund Collect, a £75,000 scheme bringing outstanding pieces of contemporary craft to museums and galleries across the UK. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is one of eight museums and galleries in the running this year.

Art Fund Collect is a joint scheme run by the Art Fund and the Crafts Council. It offers curators the chance to pick a unique piece of craft at COLLECT, the Crafts Council’s international art fair for contemporary objects. Successful curators win a share of £75,000 to buy their chosen object outright on behalf of their museum or gallery.

Fiona Slattery and Martin Ellis, Curators of Applied Arts will take part in the scheme on behalf of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. Zelina Garland, Curatorial Services Manager at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery said:

“Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is delighted to have been shortlisted! Art Fund Collect offers continuing support for Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery’s contemporary collecting, and is a wonderful opportunity to acquire a major piece of contemporary applied art during a challenging financial environment. If successful, this will raise the profile of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery as an actively collecting organisation, and enhance its nationally important applied art collection.”

The other shortlisted curators and their seven respective institutions are:

  • Rachel Conroy, Assistant Curator at National Museum Wales - Amgueddfa Cymru
  • Penny Sexton, Curator & Holly Morgenroth, Assistant Curator of Natural History at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter
  • Polly Putnam, Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts at Leeds Museums & Galleries
  • James Beighton, Curator at mima Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
  • Francesca Vanke, Curator of Decorative Arts and Dr Andrew Moore Keeper of Art and Senior Curator at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery
  • Pamela Wood, Keeper of Decorative Arts and Deborah Dean, Visual Arts and Exhibitions Manager at Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery
  • Alison Cooper, Assistant Keeper of Art at Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery

Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, said: “It’s fantastic to see that Art Fund Collect continues to draw some of the UK’s most talented curators, and we’re pleased that this year’s shortlist includes past competitors as well as some new names. This is a fantastic opportunity to snap up outstanding pieces from international makers at the top of their field, on behalf of the public collections across the UK. We wish all competitors the best of luck, and as ever encourage them to be bold and ambitious in their choices.”

Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director of the Crafts Council, said: “Art Fund Collect is such a significant scheme for contemporary craft in the UK.  As the Crafts Council celebrates its 40th anniversary this year by focusing on, and developing, our own collection it is heartening to see the desire of curators across the UK to collect world-class contemporary craft for their institutional collections.”

Art Fund Collect takes place on 5 May 2011, the preview day of COLLECT which is being held at the Saatchi Gallery for the third year running.

Fiona Slattery and Martin Ellis and the other shortlisted curators will access the fair ahead of private buyers and VIPs, and one day before doors open to the public. They will have just one hour to go around the 37 international galleries represented at COLLECT and pick one object they wish to add to their museum or gallery’s public collection. 

Curators are then required to justify their choice in a verbal presentation to the panel of judges. Winners are selected according to the vision and ambition they demonstrate. The Art Fund buys the winning objects on behalf of each successful museum or gallery.

This is the first time that Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery has applied to take part in the scheme.

Art Fund Collect was set up by the Art Fund and Crafts Council in 2008 as a way of boosting public collections with the best of international contemporary craft. To date, the scheme has contributed £200,000 towards the purchase of unique works for the public to enjoy.

A total of 18 institutions applied and the judging panel met on 23 March to draw up the shortlist. In 2010, five curators won an object for their public collections at Art Fund Collect. The winners were: Aberdeen Art Gallery; the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter; Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead; and the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. A total of eleven museums and galleries were shortlisted.

 

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