Acquisitions round-up: Autumn 2015

  • 3 September 2015

Take a look at all the works of art we've helped museums and galleries to acquire in the last three months, thanks to National Art Pass members and Art Fund donors.

1. Gordon Douglas, Pretty Much Every Film and Video Work From About 1992 Until Now. To Be Seen on Monitors, Some with Headphones, Others Run Silently, And All Simultaneously, 1992 – in progress

Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow

An archive of 82 works displayed on TV screens by the Turner Prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon. It will continue to grow with every new work that Gordon makes.

2. Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, The Four Times of Day, c.1858

National Gallery, London

Depicting Morning, Noon, Evening and Night, the panels were painted by Corot to decorate the Fontainebleau studios of his fellow artist Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps. They were later acquired by Frederic, Lord Leighton who admired Corot’s works and found within them inspiration for his own paintings.

3. Unknown maker, Elizabethan folding fan, 1590-1600

Fan Museum, London

This exquisite early English fan, a folding type with ivory sticks joined at the pivot with ribbon, may be the only known example of its kind to survive in Britain.

4. Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Easy chair and standard lamp, 1905

The Hill House, Helensburgh

As well as designing the Hill House for the publisher Walter Blackie, Mackintosh also made the furnishings with his wife, Margaret Macdonald. The armchair and lamp are part of the original pieces that they created.

5. William Heath Robinson, The Simon Heneage collection of 410 original works, 1905-1943

William Heath Robinson Trust, London

Although Robinson at first pursued landscape painting, he began to undertake commercial work in the 1890s as an illustrator in order to make a living. His imaginative and often humorous drawings were much loved by the public and covered many aspects of British life.

6. The Royal Wardrobe, Queen Anne canopy of state, c.1709

Kensington Palace, London

This magnificent silk throne canopy is the only surviving example of its kind from the reign of Queen Anne. The original purpose of such canopies was to provide a cover over the enthroned monarch during formal royal audiences; however this one has been adapted for use above a state bed.

7. Thomas Tompion, Experimental Marine Timekeeper, c.1660

National Maritime Museum, London

Despite being unsuccessful at accurately measuring longitude, the timekeeper fills an important place in the story of pioneering chronometers at the Royal Observatory. It has been adapted for domestic use by famous English clockmaker Thomas Tompion.

8. Howard Hodgkin, Goanese, c.1990-91

Victoria Art Gallery, Bath

A hybrid form of print with gestural painting, Goanese has a lyrical quality. It will hang in the Victoria Art Gallery, where Hodgkin exhibited his paintings publicly for the first time.

9. AWN Pugin, Pugin Cabinet, c.1846

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Pugin is lauded as one of the leading exponents the 19th-century Gothic Revival movement in Britain. The cabinet has been on loan to the V&A since 1991 and now ranks as the most significant item of domestic furniture designed by Pugin in the museum’s collection.

10. Unknown maker, The Broughton Missal, 1400-1425

Lambeth Palace Library, London

This beautiful 15th-century missal (a book containing the texts used in Catholic Mass throughout the year) represents an invaluable source of information about pre-Reformation life and religious practice.

11. David Le Marchand, Five Le Marchand ivories, 1696-1700

National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh

Following his emigration to Edinburgh, these five ivory portraits of the Mackenzie family might be the first ivories Marchand made in Britain.

12. Kelley Walker, Andy Warhol’s Unfinished Symphony, 2010-2012

Manchester Art Gallery

Walker is famous for his appropriation of images from art and popular culture. By reusing and transforming the images in this large-scale installation, Walker aims to shift their meanings and raise questions about their role in our society.

13. Morel and Hughes (or Morel and Seddon), Earl Grey’s Centre Table, 1825-1830

Temple Newsam House, Leeds

This handsome Regency table by royal furniture makers once stood proudly among the furnishings of 10 Downing Street, where it belonged to the Whig prime minister, Charles, 2nd Earl Grey (1764-1845).

14. William Hamo Thornycroft, Charity and Justice, 1888

Leeds City Art Gallery

Charity and Justice is the full-size plaster model for one of the two bronze reliefs on the base of the memorial to General Gordon, a statue by Thornycroft erected in Trafalgar Square in 1888.

15. Unknown Roman craftsman, Bull statuette, AD100-200

The Collection: Art and Archaeology in Lincolnshire, Lincoln

This finely carved fragment of antique statuary, discovered in a local garden, probably dates from the early Roman settlement of Lincoln.

16. Keith Vaughan, Highgate Ponds Album, 1933

School of Art, Aberystwyth University

This album of photographs of male nudes, compiled when Vaughan was just 21, is an early example of the homoerotic subject matter that came to dominate his later paintings and drawings.

17. Unknown maker, Mary Queen of Scots and Henry Lord Darnley medal, 1565

Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow

This rare silver medal shows busts of Mary Queen of Scots and her husband, Henry Lord Darnley, commemorating their marriage of 1565.

18. Dan Holdsworth, Blackout 13, 2010

Southampton City Art Gallery

After capturing his photographs, Holdsworth edits them through analogue and digital processes to turn them into awe-inspiring views of the world. Here the blue of the sky turns black, while the ice and rocks appear in blindingly negative white.

19. David Jones, Hound of St Dominic, 1923

This rare woodblock, carved by the British Neo-Romantic artist David Jones, was used to print the Hound of St Dominic engraving on the cover of Eric Gill’s pamphlet War Memorial in 1923.

20. Grayson Perry, Untitled (Perfume Bottle), 1985

Swindon Museum & Art Gallery

Bearing an inscription in French that translates as ‘Reminiscence/Perfume of the Mistresses’, this is an example of the Turner Prize-winning artist’s early ceramic pieces.

21. Patrick William Adam, The Oval Room, Smeaton Hepburn, c.1900

East Lothian Museums Service, Haddington

Following his extensive travels painting the landscapes of Rome, Venice and Russia, Patrick William Adam settled in East Lothian and spent the remainder of his life recording the interiors of local society households, of which this is a prime example.

22. Atta Kwami, Prints in Counterpoint, 2014

World Museum Liverpool

This series of 16 lino prints was created after Atta Kwami spent three days sketching African objects in the World Museum Liverpool’s World Cultures Gallery.

23. Richard Smith, M4, 1968

North Hertfordshire Museum

This small-scale drawing is an example of Richard Smith’s experimentation with visual planes. It is the first example of a work from an internationally recognised living artist to enter the museum’s collection.

24. Unknown maker, The Hingham Hoard, 865-869

Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

Although well known as a martyr who met a violent death while resisting Viking invasion, the reign of Edmund, King of East Anglia is sparsely recorded. This hoard offers a valuable insight into the history of his moneyers, and the Trewhiddle style of jewellery.

25. David Oxtoby, Elvis, 1975

British Museum, London

David Oxtoby was devoted to portraying popular musicians. This double-sided sketch presents two well-known portrayals of the King, and complements a series of 41 etchings given by the artist in 2011.

26. Patrick Caulfield, A Jug, c.2013

British Museum, London

This depiction of a simple earthenware jug has been described as belonging ‘equally to the ancient world and to the modern’ and replicates many pottery examples found in the British Museum’s collection.  

27. Alison Wilding, Two untitled drawings, 1966-1970

British Museum, London

Created while she was still at art school, sketches were a way for Wilding not only to explore sculptural ideas on paper, but also to document her three-dimensional work.

28. Phyllida Barlow, Untitled: Cardboard Tower (Dock), 2014

Southampton City Art Gallery

Similarly to her ‘antimonumental’ sculptures, Barlow uses low-grade or industrial materials to produce works on paper. This painting relates to her recent Tate Britain commission Dock.

29. Guy Moreton, LW205 Skjolden, 2002-2005

Southampton City Art Gallery

This large-scale photograph is part of a series based on the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s visit to the Norwegian village of Skjolden, where he investigated ‘truth functions’. The image embodies the remote experience of a philosophical quest.

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