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.


Manuscript

Bath astronomy museum to raise £108,000 to buy manuscript via Christie’s private sale

28 September 2022

The Herschel Museum of Astronomy in Bath has launched a fundraising campaign to buy a Caroline Herschel memoir.

Bethlem Museum Of The Mind 2

BADA Friends supports contemporary museum acquisition

16 August 2022

The Friends of the BADA has given £500 to support the Bethlem Museum of the Mind in the acquisition of a new work.

1616359 Inkstand, NTI James Dobson

National Trust snaps up Castlereagh’s silver inkstand ahead of exhibition

11 August 2022

The National Trust has acquired a silver inkstand used by Viscount Castlereagh (1769-1822), the Anglo-Irish politician and statesman.

Christ carrying the Cross

National Gallery acquires two paintings via government tax scheme

09 August 2022

Two Italian pictures have joined the National Gallery’s collection via the government’s inheritance tax scheme.

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Museums make 300 new purchases thanks to Art Fund

27 June 2022

Close to 300 objects and works of art found permanent homes in UK museums and galleries thanks to contributions from the Art Fund charity, a new report reveals.

Nicholas Sprimont picture

Ceramics dealer E&H Manners buys Nicholas Sprimont portrait again – this time for the V&A

13 June 2022

A historically significant portrait of Nicholas Sprimont (1716-71) is set to stay in the UK after dealer Errol Manners sold it for the second time in his career – this time to the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Silver casket with Dr Anna Groundwater

Mary, Queen of Scots silver casket sold to Scottish museum for £1.8m

24 May 2022

A casket believed to have once belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots has been bought by the National Museum of Scotland with help from donors and art funds.

Joseph Wright of Derby

Derby museum brings Wright of Derby painting ‘home’

16 May 2022

A Wright of Derby (1734-97) self-portrait, in private hands for 250 years, has been bought by Derby Museum and Art Gallery with the help of donations and a government tax scheme.

Rebecca Solomon picture

Princeton University Art Museum revealed as buyer of picture by female Pre-Raphaelite artist

05 May 2022

A work by Rebecca Solomon (1832-86) offered at Sotheby’s was bought by The Princeton University Art Museum.

A Book of Rhymes

Brontë mini book heads home to Haworth after £1m raised to buy it from New York dealer

28 April 2022

A rediscovered miniature book by Charlotte Brontë has been sold at a New York book fair.

Col Hely Hutchinson 1

Sitwell portrait returns to Scarborough

21 April 2022

A Sitwell portrait is returning home after Scarborough Museums Trust bought it at a Newbury auction.

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Dealers finalise institutional sales

18 April 2022

Several dealerships have completed sales to institutions after the winter showing of London Art Week (LAW).

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Capturing ‘the sentiments of a recovering nation’

18 April 2022

The original watercolour draught for Sydney Harbour Bridge that featured on the front page of ATG No 2538 was bought by the Australian National Maritime Museum, it has been revealed.

Hogarth's Walpole

Public appeal saves Hogarth portrait of Horace Walpole for his home Strawberry Hill

16 April 2022

The funds necessary to keep a portrait of Horace Walpole on display at his former home Strawberry Hill have been raised following a public appeal.

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Artist Sarah Biffin in double spotlight

04 April 2022

Self-portrait sold to National Portrait Gallery by dealer who also plans an exhibition

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Rome gallery makes Bourbon drawing sale to Hamburg museum

04 April 2022

Antonacci Lapiccirella Fine Art of Rome has sold a pencil drawing depicting Maria Luisa de Bourbon to The Hamburger Kunsthalle.

Hogarth's Walpole

Public appeal for £25,000 to buy Hogarth’s Horace Walpole portrait for Strawberry Hill museum

24 March 2022

The Strawberry Hill Trust is appealing for public donations to buy a painting by William Hogarth (1697-1784) of Horace Walpole.

William Beckford

Deathbed picture of controversial collector William Beckford bought by museum

23 March 2022

The 1844 portrait William Beckford on his Deathbed by Willes Maddox (1813-53) has been purchased by Bath Preservation Trust and will go on display at Beckford’s Tower and Museum this month.

PAN print

Museum buys PAN magazine prints

21 March 2022

California dealership Denenberg Fine Arts has sold a full set of 80 prints from the Jugendstil magazine PAN to Chicago’s Driehaus Museum.

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Walter Sickert’s way to Tipperary

14 March 2022

A patriotic Walter Sickert (1860-1942) painting bought by the Imperial War Museum (IWM) in London is earmarked to be displayed among the exhibits in the new art, film and photographic galleries opening next year.

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