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.


Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’

Salvator Mundi: Louvre museum asks owner to loan world’s most expensive painting for Paris exhibition

20 February 2019

The Louvre museum in Paris has requested the loan of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ for its major exhibition dedicated to the artist opening in October.

Hogarth's ‘The Wollaston Family’

Local artist to auction ‘Hogarth’ artwork to help Leicester trust keep original Hogarth painting

16 February 2019

The City of Leicester Museums Trust is hoping to raise £565,000 to keep a William Hogarth painting on the walls of a local gallery.

Professor David Starkey at Hever Castle unveiling a portrait of Mary Queen of Scots discovered by dealer Philip Mould

Prof David Starkey: ‘Flair more important than great art scholarship to be a highly successful art dealer’

12 February 2019

Prof David Starkey has said the most successful art dealers, such as his friend Philip Mould, do not necessarily have the greatest knowledge of art history but rather possess 'a flair for discoveries'.

Crosby Garrett Roman helmet

Government strengthens law to protect treasure finds

01 February 2019

The government is proposing to strengthen the Treasure Act to include important finds that do not fit the current legal definition.

coffer

Oxford’s Bodleian Library buys 500-year-old book-box from Paris dealer

24 January 2019

The University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries has acquired a rare 15th-century French Gothic coffer – one of the largest-surviving examples of a late medieval box used for transporting precious books.

Dickens

Charles Dickens 'lost portrait' purchase for the nation fundraising hits £60,000

21 January 2019

A public fund-raising effort to purchase the ‘lost’ portrait of Charles Dickens for the nation from dealership Philip Mould & Company has reached £60,000, a third of the asking price.

Vilhelm Hammershoi painting

Getty Museum buys classic Danish interior scene by Vilhelm Hammershøi

19 December 2018

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has bought a painting by Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) barely months after it fetched a major sum at a Christie’s auction.

Pendant

Anglo-Saxon pendant found in Norfolk field voted Britain’s favourite work of art

18 December 2018

A rare Anglo-Saxon pendant found in Norfolk by a metal detectorist has been voted Britain’s favourite work of art bought by a museum.

Bulla

Metal-detecting trend boosts ‘treasure’ discoveries as numbers hit a record for second year running

13 December 2018

Bronze Age golden jewellery and a Roman goddess kept in a margarine tub are among the discoveries dug up across the UK.

A Vincennes soft paste porcelain dish

Pre-emptions in Paris: Four of the latest museum purchases at the Drouot auction centre

05 November 2018

The right of French museums to claim a lot offered at auction as soon as the final price is determined by the fall of the hammer always adds an extra dimension to any auction in France.

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'.

img_1-1.jpg

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.

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