Museum acquisitions

Museums often acquire works through donations but, in spite of funding constraints, they also make purchases to expand their collections, either bidding at auctions, negotiating private treaty sales or, in the UK, via the Acceptance in Lieu scheme.


Julia Margaret Cameron, Pomona, 1887, Albumen print, © The RPS Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.jpg

Fresh details and opening date announced as V&A Photography Centre clicks into action

07 May 2018

More details and a launch date have emerged for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s new Photography Centre.

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Ottawa museum buys Canadian VC group

07 May 2018

One of the finest Victoria Cross medals awarded to a Canadian recipient will be staying in Canada thanks to a successf ul fundraising campaign.

Juan de Zurbaran still life

Sotheby’s brokers sale of rare Juan de Zurbarán still life to National Gallery

27 April 2018

Sotheby’s has negotiated the private sale of a still life by Juan de Zurbarán (1620-1649) to the National Gallery, London.

RA

Shortlist announced for London Original Print Fair museums’ acquisitions prize

24 April 2018

The London Original Print Fair (LOPF) has shortlisted five institutions for this year’s acquisition award. The successful entrant will win £8000 to spend at the fair which takes place at the Royal Academy of Arts on May 3-6.

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London dealer sells Van Gogh still-life to Dutch museum

18 April 2018

Connaught Brown has sold a still-life by Vincent van Gogh (1853-90) to the Noordbrabants Museum in the Netherlands.

Victoria and Albert Museum wall hanging

V&A Museum buys large embroidery made for Louis XIV’s mistress at Brussels fair

03 April 2018

The Victoria & Albert Museum has purchased a rare 17th century wall hanging from the Belgian restorer and weaver De Wit Fine Tapestries.

Gosvenor Museum

Charitable trust buys French rococo chairs for Chester museum collection

27 March 2018

A charitable trust has bought two pairs of 18th century French chairs from National Galleries of Scotland for a museum in Chester.

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National Portrait Gallery seeks help from trade to grow collection

26 March 2018

The UK's National Portrait Gallery (NPG) has funding in place for vernacular portraits ‘owned by ordinary people’. It is calling on the trade to help it acquire works for a new exhibition centred on identity before the era of painted portraiture.

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‘Bigger and better’ Liotard portrait sold to German museum

26 March 2018

A private museum in south-west Germany has bought a portrait by Swiss artist Jean- Etienne Liotard (1702-89) from London Old Master dealer Derek Johns.

Abbey

Westminster Abbey pictures by artist Alexander Creswell bought by dean for new exhibition

17 March 2018

Westminster Abbey is to unveil a series of watercolours after the Dean and Chapter of Westminster purchased a group of 35 pictures from artist Alexander Creswell.

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Brunel Museum to use Thames Tunnel archive bought at Bonhams as centrepiece of its expansion plans

26 February 2018

A fascinating archive of designs for Brunel’s Thames Tunnel sold at Bonhams was bought by a museum dedicated to the pioneering structure to form the centrepiece of a £4.5m expansion, it has been revealed.

Teapot

The story behind the Met’s epic £460,000 auction battle for ‘America’s first china teapot’

26 February 2018

A hitherto unrecorded teapot attributed to a pioneering North American porcelain factory sold last week for a remarkable £460,000 (plus premium) at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury.

Book of Hours

Louvre secures funding from 8500 donors to buy £8m Book of Hours once owned by Francis I of France

20 February 2018

The Louvre Museum in Paris has raised more than £8m to buy a jewel-encrusted Book of Hours.

V&A

Museum acquisitions under threat from lack of funding report warns

16 February 2018

Museums in the UK have been selling off their collections and have been unable to buy new works of art due to funding issues, a “deeply depressing” report has revealed.

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2016-17 museum donations rise in boost for inheritance tax scheme

15 January 2018

Donations to museums via inheritance tax schemes grew 22% in the past year, according to the latest Arts Council annual report.

Waterfall

Waterfall drawing discovered by art critic Brian Sewell saved for the nation by British Museum

04 January 2018

The British Museum has saved for the nation an 18th century drawing by Austrian Romantic artist Joseph Anton Koch (1768-1839) after it was sold at auction from the estate of art critic Brian Sewell.

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Hairy portrait bought by institution

02 January 2018

A 17th century portrait of a woman who suffered from a rare congenital condition resulting in excessive hair growth on the body has been acquired by the Wellcome Collection.

Barbara van Beck

Dealers sell rare portrait of bearded woman to Wellcome Collection

31 December 2017

London dealers Agnews and Rafael Valls have jointly sold a 17th century portrait of a woman who suffered from a rare congenital condition to the Wellcome Collection.

Leekfrith

Iron Age gold torcs head to Stoke museum after fundraising target reached

19 December 2017

A collection of Iron Age gold jewellery is to go on display at Stoke-on-Trent’s Potteries Museum & Art Gallery after fundraising hit the £325,000 target.

Cannons

Cannons from a 17th century English warship return to UK for Southend museum

15 December 2017

Recovered from a US buyer, three historic cannons are returning to Southend for a new exhibition.

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