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.


Credi

Getty Museum chooses Old Master drawings for biggest-ever acquisition

24 July 2017

Los Angeles’ J Paul Getty Museum has bought 16 Old Master drawings in its largest-ever purchase by value.

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden bronze dirk

Ancient ‘peat bog’ bronze sword sells to Dutch museum at Christie’s

24 July 2017

A museum in The Netherlands has bought a 3000-year-old ceremonial sword at a Christie’s auction. It had been found around 120 years ago in a peat bog.

Halliwell screen

Collage bought at auction stars in Islington Museum exhibition to mark anniversary of death of infamous gay couple Orton and Halliwell

15 July 2017

Islington Museum is to show off the Kenneth Halliwell screen collage that it bought at auction as part of a new exhibition to mark two important anniversaries.

Wedgwood vase

Victory for public appeal as Wedgwood’s First Day’s vase returns to Staffordshire

05 July 2017

A long-running appeal to raise nearly half a million pounds to return a Wedgwood’s First Day’s vase to Staffordshire has triumphed.

Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Cup

The Goldsmiths’ Company pledges £10m to fund new museum

04 July 2017

The Goldsmiths’ Company has pledged £10m to help fund the creation of a new home for The Museum of London.

Felix Dennis Oz Archive

Archive of the ‘enfant terrible’ of the underground press bought by the V&A

17 June 2017

The Victoria & Albert Museum has bought the archive of revolutionary magazine Oz and its maverick founder and co-editor Felix Dennis (1947-2014).

Gérôme

Fitzwilliam Museum secures rediscovered Gérôme painting from dealer Daniel Katz

16 June 2017

A recently rediscovered Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904) painting has been bought by the Fitzwilliam Museum from dealer Daniel Katz.

Parmigianino

Getty museum gets go-ahead to export £24.5m Parmigianino painting after no UK buyer found

15 June 2017

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles will be able to take a Parmigianino oil painting to the US after no UK buyer could be found to match the £24.5m price tag.

Dobson

Civil War painting by William Dobson acquired by Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum

17 May 2017

A painting by William Dobson revealing Oxford’s role in the English Civil War has been acquired by the university’s Ashmolean Museum.

Sewell

Brian Sewell archive finds new home at Paul Mellon Centre

09 May 2017

A British art education charity has snapped up the archive of critic Brian Sewell.

Grinling Gibbons panel

York’s Fairfax House seeks funds to buy Grinling Gibbons panel from Leeds dealer

08 May 2017

Fairfax House in York is trying to raise £300,000 to purchase a panel by the celebrated woodcarver Grinling Gibbons (1648-1721) from dealer Tomasso Brothers.

Coins

Largest gold sovereign hoard declared treasure as mystery surrounds source of stash

24 April 2017

The largest gold sovereign hoard ever found has been declared treasure but mystery surrounds the identity of the rightful heirs to the trove of gold coins.

George IV piano

George IV grand piano goes home to Brighton Pavilion

13 April 2017

A grand piano commissioned by George IV for the Brighton Pavilion in 1821 is to make its way home after a local museum won the bidding at auction.

WEB Lady Clementina Hawarden, Isabella Grace and Florence Elizabeth Maude.jpg

Victoria and Albert Museum to launch huge new photography centre

06 April 2017

Photograph research and study will be boosted by the expansion of the Victoria and Albert Museum's vast collection of historic and contemporary images.

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Fettercairn Jewel returns to Scotland

05 April 2017

Enforcing its Scottish significance, a Renaissance gold pendant known as the Fettercairn Jewel has been bought by the National Museums Scotland.

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Museum purchase

05 April 2017

This William and Mary walnut marquetry cabinet, right, was recently bought by an international museum for a mid six- figure sum.

Rolleston

Furniture dealer Rolleston sells William and Mary marquetry cabinet to international museum

27 March 2017

Kensington Church Street dealer Rolleston recently sold a William and Mary cabinet to an international museum for a mid-six-figure sum.

Duckers shoe shop

Details of the shoe buying habits of literary giants Waugh and Tolkien bought at auction by Oxford’s Bodleian Library

24 March 2017

The Bodleian Library in Oxford has bought the historic customer ledgers of venerable Oxford shoemaker Ducker & Son.

V&A Museum London

Fabergé treasures donated to V&A from collection of former Wartski chairman

20 March 2017

The V&A has been awarded a clutch of Fabergé treasures from the estate of Kenneth Snowman, the well-known collector of works by the Russian jeweller and former chairman of jewellery dealer Wartski.

Wedgwood First Day’s vase

New grant helps funding appeal to keep Wedgwood First Day’s vase in Stoke on Trent

17 March 2017

Stoke-on-Trent’s Potteries Museum & Art Gallery is hopeful of raising nearly half a million pounds to buy a Wedgwood First Day’s vase after it was awarded a £90,000 grant from the Art Fund.

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