Meet the latest winners of our New Collecting Awards

  • Published 30 March 2017

Introducing the next six recipients of our £300,000 New Collecting Awards programme, which invests in the development of some of the UK’s curatorial rising stars.

Top (l-r): Anna Rhodes, Megan Barford, Bronwen Colquhoun, Bottom (l-r): Mark Doyle, Louise Stewart, Martin Goldberg

Top (l-r): Anna Rhodes, Megan Barford, Bronwen Colquhoun, Bottom (l-r): Mark Doyle, Louise Stewart, Martin Goldberg

Now in its third year, the New Collecting Awards provides a budget to each winner to pursue a completely new avenue of collecting. This year the winners are working in museums and galleries based in Buxton, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London and Rochdale.

This latest round of funding included a special ring-fenced amount for pre-1600 curatorship, with support from The Ruddock Foundation for the Arts. The two collecting projects supported by this special funding are from the National Portrait Gallery in London and National Museums Scotland in Edinburgh.

Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund director, said: ‘Our New Collecting Awards support the UK’s most promising, emerging curators by offering the much-needed funds – and invaluable access to advice – to help them learn at first hand the art of building museum collections. I can’t wait to see what they collect and how they present them to their visitors.’

The 2017 winners are:

  • Anna Rhodes, Assistant Collections Officer at Buxton Museum & Art Gallery, has been awarded £40,000 to acquire 18th-century landscapes of Derbyshire on paper and in ceramics.
  • Megan Barford, Curator of Cartography at Royal Museums Greenwich, London, has been awarded £50,000 to build a collection of contemporary cartographic material concerned with forced migration.
  • Bronwen Colquhoun, Senior Curator of Photography, National Museum Wales, Cardiff, has been awarded £65,000 to collect work by American and European photographers working in the South Wales Valleys between the 1950s and 1980s.
  • Mark Doyle, Art Gallery Curator & Collections Manager at Touchstones Rochdale, has been awarded £65,000 to strengthen the existing holdings of work by female artists.
  • Louise Stewart, Cross-Collections Curator at the National Portrait Gallery, London, has been awarded £40,000 to develop a collection of popular, global and ephemeral portraits with a particular focus on pre-1600 material.
  • Martin Goldberg, Senior Curator, Later Prehistoric, Early Historic and Viking collections at National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh, has been awarded £40,000 towards a research-driven collecting programme to deepen National Museums Scotland’s understanding of its medieval Pictish holdings.

The programme responds to the need for ongoing collections development in our museums, underpinned by curatorial experience, vision and ambition. Award recipients also receive a specific funding allocation dedicated to their own professional development, to spend on research, travel and training costs, plus the ongoing support of Art Fund staff, trustees, and a mentor.

Today’s announcement follows on from two other successful rounds, meaning that 17 curators in total are now benefiting through the scheme, developing collections within their institutions.

Recent Acquisitions

One of the most recent acquisitions was made by Hannah Jackson, assistant curator of Fashion and Textiles at The Bowes Museum, County Durham. She was awarded £60,000 to build a collection of French haute couture, in homage to the museum’s co-founder Joséphine Bowes, as one of the first winners when the scheme launched in 2014. Her first acquisition is a midnight-blue velvet evening jacket by the famous couturier Elsa Schiaparelli from her autumn/winter 1937-8 collection [pictured right].

Using her New Collecting Award has enabled Hannah to travel to Paris and London for research purposes and to meet with her appointed mentor, Judith Clark, Professor at London College of Fashion. She visited archives in Paris, including the Palais Galliera and Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, and also attended auctions in Paris and London.

As part of the project she attended a week long international training course at the V&A in London entitled 'Curating Fashion and Dress', which extended her network of professionals in the field and offered her an insight into the V&A’s approach and ethos of collecting and presenting dress. By summer 2017, Hannah aims to have acquired a capsule collection of French haute couture which will reinforce the unique identity of The Bowes Museum’s fashion collection.

Forthcoming displays

In the scheme’s first year, Charlotte Keenan, curator of British art for National Museums Liverpool, was awarded £60,000 to build a fine art collection relating to LGBTQ culture and history. She has already made striking acquisitions including Alien Sex Club, a multi-part installation by John Walter. A selection of these will be included in Walker Art Gallery’s forthcoming exhibition Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity, marking the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexual acts in England and Wales (1967 Sexual Offences Act). Further new acquisitions by Charlotte will be announced in due course.

Thomas Hockenhull, curator of modern money at the British Museum, London, will include recent acquisitions through the scheme in a forthcoming display at the British Museum opening 19 October 2017. Coinciding with the centenary of the Russian Revolution, the exhibition explores how communist states radically re-structured their economies to reflect Marxist ideology. The display looks at all aspects of the monetary system, from the coins and bank notes issued by the state, to barter, voucher systems, and the black market. Thomas was awarded £50,000 during the scheme’s second year to build a collection of numismatic material from socialist and former socialist governed countries. His most recent acquisitions include Soviet posters advertising state banking services and a medal commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The New Collecting Awards have been made possible through the generous support of a consortium of funders, including the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, The Ruddock Foundation for the Arts, The Headley Trust, The Vivmar Foundation and other contributions from private individuals.

Tags: New Collecting Awards