Museum acquisitions

Museums often acquire works through donations but, in spite of funding constraints, they also make purchases to expand their collections, either bidding at auctions, negotiating private treaty sales or, in the UK, via the Acceptance in Lieu scheme.


Mosaic

Replica of the largest British Roman mosaic to return home to Gloucestershire

02 October 2018

A replica of the largest Roman mosaic to be found in Britain could return home to Gloucestershire where it was made.

 silver ewer

Palace of Versailles buys Chinese silver ewer in private deal

24 September 2018

A rare 17th century Chinese silver ewer has been acquired by the Palace of Versailles in a private treaty sale conducted by the auction firm Beaussant Lefèvre. It is the only known surviving piece of silverware from a lavish diplomatic gift presented to Louis XIV by the King of Siam (Thailand) in 1686.

Teapot

British descendant donates silver teapot to Colonial Williamsburg museum

19 September 2018

A silver teapot that belonged to the last colonial governor of Virginia has been donated by a British descendant to the Colonial Williamsburg collection.

Louvre Abu Dhab

Unveiling of Salvator Mundi at Louvre Abu Dhabi delayed

04 September 2018

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism is postponing the unveiling of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ at The Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Dylan Thomas by Augustus John

Welsh connections: Christie’s brokers sale of Augustus John portrait of Dylan Thomas to National Portrait Gallery

22 August 2018

Christie’s has helped broker the sale of portrait of a young Dylan Thomas by Augustus John (1878-1961) to the National Portrait Gallery.

Pierre Prevost’s panorama

London as the Duke of Wellington knew it: Museum of London acquires huge panorama from Sotheby’s

14 August 2018

A large 19th century panorama of London, completed towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars, has entered the Museum of London’s permanent collection after the institution acquired it at a recent Sotheby’s auction.

Canterbury bible

Medieval bible bought at auction to return to Canterbury Cathedral after 500 years away

02 August 2018

Canterbury Cathedral has bought a rare illuminated bible once owned by one of the last members of Britain’s monastic community before the Reformation.

Titanic

Museums and film-maker James Cameron team-up to buy Titanic wreck artefacts

31 July 2018

A group of museums, with the backing of film-maker James Cameron, has teamed up to buy artefacts from the wreck of the 'Titanic'.

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Bronzed in London: sculptures take centre stage as heat rises during capital’s big sales week

09 July 2018

Important works of European sculpture were stars of the London auction season’s highpoint last week.

Portrait 1

National Gallery acquires record-setting self-portrait of Artemisia Gentileschi for £3.6m from London gallery

06 July 2018

A recently discovered self-portrait by Artemisia Gentileschi, the celebrated Italian Baroque artist, has been acquired by the National Gallery in London for £3.6m.

Mars

‘Dresden Mars’ returns to Saxony instead of auction at Sotheby’s

03 July 2018

The bronze figure known as the ‘Dresden Mars’ is returning home after the Dresden State Art Collections agreed to buy the artwork ahead of a planned auction tomorrow.

Ivory plaque

British Museum accepts 550-piece collection of ivory works of art ahead of UK trade ban

28 June 2018

A vast collection of ivories from The Sir Victor Sassoon Chinese Ivories Trust will be going on display at the British Museum after it acquired the collection earlier this year.

Queen Victoria by Alfred Gilbert at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Fitzwilliam Museum raises £1m to secure Queen Victoria sculpture

21 June 2018

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge has acquired a marble sculpture of Queen Victoria by Sir Alfred Gilbert (1854-1934) after raising the required £1.01m to prevent it from export.

Singer Sargent

Bowled over by Singer Sargent - National Trust secures painting of Ightham Mote

11 June 2018

In 1889, the artist John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) visited the 14th century manor house Ightham Mote in Kent and painted a picture of its occupants playing a game of bowls.

‘A Game of Bowls’ by John Singer Sargent

Sotheby’s brokers sale of John Singer Sargent painting to National Trust

06 June 2018

A painting of a game of bowls by John Singer Sargent previously in the collection of the late A Alfred Taubman has sold to the National Trust’s Ightham Mote, the manor house in Kent depicted in the picture.

2345 Claudel Front View.jpg

Dealer Katz sells bronze sculptures to the Getty

04 June 2018

London dealer Daniel Katz has sold two bronze sculptures to the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, one by Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) and the other by Rodin’s assistant, model and lover Camille Claudel (1864-1943).

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Art Fund celebrates record year as it seeks to boost annual giving to £10m

31 May 2018

A record-breaking year for Art Fund, including the purchase of £5.5m of art, is a ‘step in the right direction’ as the national charity seeks to increase its annual grant giving to £10m.

Ancient Greek vases bought by the Louvre

Louvre acquires ancient Greek vases excavated by Napoleon’s brother at auction

29 May 2018

Two Attic black figure vases that formerly belonged to Lucien Bonaparte, the younger brother of Napoleon, were acquired by the Louvre from an auction held at Drouot in Paris by Pierre Bergé et Associés (PBA).

Hardship in the Camp.jpg

“Scotland’s photo album” saved for the nation at a price of £1m

17 May 2018

A collection of photographs capturing a century of Scottish history has been saved for the nation at a price tag of £1m.

Julia Margaret Cameron, Pomona, 1887, Albumen print, © The RPS Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.jpg

Fresh details and opening date announced as V&A Photography Centre clicks into action

07 May 2018

More details and a launch date have emerged for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s new Photography Centre.

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