£75,000 curator shopping spree at Art Fund COLLECT 2009

  • 20 October 2008

The Art Fund is calling all museum and gallery curators who would love the chance to buy some of the world's best craft works at COLLECT 2009, Europe's premier fair for contemporary craft. Applications open in mid-November for Art Fund COLLECT 2009, a major initiative of The Art Fund, the UK's leading independent art charity, and the Crafts Council.

After the success of the inaugural Art Fund COLLECT last year - which saw four museums across the UK each acquire an outstanding piece including a monumental grey pot by Julian Stair and an exquisite piece of silverwork by Junko Mori inspired by botanical drawings - The Art Fund has increased the amount that it will spend at COLLECT 2009 from £50,000 to £75,000.

Art Fund COLLECT 2009 gives short-listed curators special access to the fair to be held in May at the new Saatchi Gallery in London. Against the clock, with pre-VIP access, the short-listed curators must select objects from gallery exhibitors and submit them to the Art Fund COLLECT Committee, who will decide which museums and galleries will win a share of the £75,000, based on their chosen object. Winning curators will each receive a 100% grant for their object.

David Barrie, Director of The Art Fund, said: “Art Fund COLLECT gives museums and galleries across the country an exceptional opportunity to get in ahead of the private collectors and buy the best in international contemporary craft. I can’t wait to see what and who will win a share of this £75,000 fund.”

Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director, Crafts Council, said: “The Crafts Council is committed to creating opportunities for public collections to acquire craft. We are delighted that the Art Fund is supporting craft collections through this initiative.”

The Art Fund is seeking short proposals from museum and art gallery curators with collections or an interest in contemporary decorative and applied art. These proposals should be based on research into the galleries and artists exhibiting at COLLECT 2009 and outline a ‘wish list’ of artists and makers. A shortlist of up to 15 curators will be selected in March and given the chance to choose an object for their museum or gallery’s collection at COLLECT in May 2009. These final applications are submitted to the Committee to decide final winners.

COLLECT is presented by the Crafts Council and is Europe’s only international art fair dedicated to contemporary applied and decorative arts. COLLECT 2009 will take place at the newly opened Saatchi Gallery from 14 - 17 May 2009 (14 May by invitation only).

For more information and to register your interest for Art Fund COLLECT 2009 please contact Sarah Philp, Senior Grants Officer, on 020 7225 4803 sphilp@artfund.org


Notes to Editors:

The Art Fund

The Art Fund is the UK’s leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collections; campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art. It is entirely funded from public donations and has 80,000 members. Since 1903 the charity has helped museums and galleries all over the UK secure 860,000 works of art for their collections. Recent achievements include: helping secure Anthony d’Offay’s collection, ARTIST ROOMS, for Tate and National Galleries of Scotland in February 2008 with a grant of £1million; putting together a unique funding package to ensure Dumfries House in Ayrshire and its contents were secured intact for the nation in July 2007; and running the ‘Buy a Brushstroke’ public appeal which raised over £550,000 to keep Turner’s Blue Rigi watercolour in the UK. For more information contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit www.artfund.org

Art Fund Collect Committee

The Art Fund Collect Committee members are: Chair, Jonathan Marsden, Art Fund Trustee; David Barrie, Director of The Art Fund; Sir Nicholas Goodison, collector and former Chairman of The Art Fund; and Rosy Greenlees, Director of the Crafts Council.

The Crafts Council

The Crafts Council is the national development agency for contemporary crafts.
The Crafts Council aims to position the UK as the best place in the world for making,
seeing and collecting contemporary craft.

For further information about the Crafts Council visit

The Crafts Council is supported by Arts Council England. The Crafts Council is supported by Arts Council England. Arts Council England works to get great art to everyone by championing, developing and investing in artistic experiences that enrich people's lives. As the national development agency for the arts, we support a range of artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to digital art, and carnival to crafts. Great art inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves, and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2008 and 2011, we will invest £1.3 billion of public money from government and a further £0.3 billion from the National Lottery to create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.