Through the New Collecting Awards we aim to support the next generation of curatorial leaders across the UK.
The awards offer 100% funding for focused collecting projects, enabling curators to expand museum and gallery collections into exciting new areas or deepen existing holdings in imaginative ways.
Awardees also receive a generous funding allocation for research, travel and training, plus the support of a mentor, Art Fund staff and our trustees.
We welcome applications from curators who are:
We will also consider applications from freelance curators or researchers, provided you can demonstrate that you will be officially affiliated with a fully or provisionally accredited museum or gallery for the duration of your project and that your participation will have a longer-term institutional impact.
In your application you will be expected to demonstrate why receiving a New Collecting Award would benefit not only your museum/gallery and its collections but also, crucially, your own professional development in a way that would not otherwise be possible.
With support from the Ruddock Foundation for the Arts, one award will be ring-fenced to give a curator a mandate to build a pre-1600 collection for their museum.
Awardees are selected via a two-stage process.
Applicants must first submit an application. Shortlisted applicants are then invited to interview.
Full details can be found in Guidance for Applicants.
Awards typically fall between £30,000 and £80,000.
You can apply for any amount but will be expected to demonstrate that the sum is reasonable and proportionate in relation to the type and number of works you propose to collect.
The allocation for professional development is ringfenced at 10% of the total sum awarded.
Please note that we retain the right to award a reduced grant for either planned acquisitions or professional development at our own discretion.
The New Collecting Awards are made possible by a number of generous individuals and trusts including the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation, the Ruddock Foundation for the Arts, the Headley Trust, the KMF Maxwell Stuart Charitable Trust, the Coral Samuel Charitable Trust and the Vivmar Foundation.