Art Fund

Art Fund New Collecting Awards shares £300,000 between seven ‘rising stars’ of curation

Article: David Styles | Image: © Art Fund

Seven curators based in the UK have been selected as the winners of the fifth annual Art Fund New Collecting Awards.

The programme is designed to support projects by curators which seek to develop and expand the scope of museum collections – whether new or existing.

Each 2019 winner will now receive a budget for acquisitions; a funding allocation for research; travel and training costs; along with the ongoing support of Art Fund staff, trustees, and a dedicated mentor.

The Art Fund scheme has awarded more than £1.5 million in support of 30 UK curators over the last five years. Successful projects have included the formation of a fine art collection of LGBT+ culture and history, a collection of work exploring war and the digital, and the acquisition of work by black artists exploring issues of race and diversity.

Stephen Deuchar, Director of Art Fund, said: “An important part of being a curator today is drawing out the potential of their museums’ collections and considering how best to develop them in new ways.

“The New Collecting Awards give some of the UK’s rising curatorial stars the opportunity to diversify their institutions’ holdings, bringing benefit to a widening range of audiences and helping our museums to thrive.”

The 2019 winners and their awards

Tania Moore, Curator, Sainsbury Centre
£80,000 to acquire sculptors’ drawings and works on paper by international women artists

Uthra Rajgopal, Assistant Curator (Textiles and Wallpaper), Whitworth, University of Manchester
£38,600 to develop the gallery’s collection of South Asian textile artworks by female artists

Lucy Creighton, Curator of Archaeology, Yorkshire Museum
£50,000 to diversify and strengthen the Yorkshire Museum’s collection of pre-1600 archaeology and numismatics through a holistic approach to collecting

Ben Miller, Assistant Curator of Ceramics, The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery
£25,000 to build a collection exploring the 300-year history of North Staffordshire ceramics created for and used by the hospitality industry

Natalie Kane, Curator of Digital Design, V&A
£35,000 to research and collect examples of digital design

Louise Boyd, Japan Foundation Assistant Curator, National Museums Scotland
£40,000 to acquire a number of ehon, Japanese woodblock-printed illustrated books

Emily Riddle, Assistant Curator, The Hepworth Wakefield
£30,000 to collect post-war ceramics by artists associated with the Central School of Arts and Crafts.

The New Collecting Awards are facilitated by support from a range of individuals and trusts, including the Wolfson Foundation; the Ruddock Foundation for the Arts; the Coral Samuel Charitable Trust; and the Vivmar Foundation.

The latest round of funding, totalling almost £300,000, includes a ring-fenced award to provide a curatorial mandate for building a pre-1600 collection. This is supported specifically by the Ruddock Foundation for the Arts. This funding for 2019 will go towards the project at Yorkshire Museum by curator Lucy Creighton.