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.


Tumbler

Chester’s Grosvenor Museum unveils 17th century silver tumbler after purchase by charitable trust

06 October 2017

A silver tumbler made by 17th century Chester silversmith Peter Pemberton has been bought by a trust to ensure it will stay on public display in its home town.

Tate Britain

Anthony Caro sculptures allocated to the Tate after settling £2.7m tax bill

02 October 2017

Two abstract sculptures by Sir Anthony Caro have been acquired for the nation as part of the ‘Acceptance in Lieu’ scheme. Together they have settled £2.7m of inheritance tax due from the estate of Caro’s wife, the artist Sheila Girling, who died in 2015.

 WB Yeats by Antonio Mancini

Philip Mould and National Gallery of Ireland among buyers at Yeats collection sale at Sotheby’s

28 September 2017

Dealer Philip Mould was among the bidders at Sotheby’s sale of the Yeats collection this week.

Yeats letters

Irish cultural figures protest at sale of Yeats Collection by Sotheby's

26 September 2017

Leading players in Irish arts and culture have protested at the sale of the Yeats Collection by Sotheby’s tomorrow (September 27), urging the Irish government to intervene and save it for the nation.

Tate Modern London

Tate’s acquisitions valued at £27.4m in this year’s annual report

25 September 2017

More than 1000 works were acquired by the Tate in the last year according to its latest annual report. They ranged from Old Masters to Contemporary art and had a combined value of £27.4m.

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Windows into the life of Henry Holiday – and accountants

25 September 2017

The Institute of Charted Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has acquired a set of four Henry Holiday stained glass windows from Mayfair dealer Sinai & Sons.

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London dealer Derek Johns sells Kew Palace portrait of founder

18 September 2017

A portrait of the founder of Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew will return home after it was purchased from London dealer Derek Johns.

Iron age torc

Stoke-on-Trent’s Potteries museum welcomes home Wedgwood vase and kicks of fundraising for Iron Age torcs

16 September 2017

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent had a double celebration today when it welcomed home a vase by master potter Josiah Wedgwood and launched a fundraising campaign to buy the Leekfrith Iron Age Torcs.

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From Albert to Victoria with love – a royal jewel saved for the nation

04 September 2017

A sapphire and diamond coronet designed by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria in 1840 has been ’saved for the nation’ after its purchase for the London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

Queen Victoria's coronet

Queen Victoria’s coronet to remain in UK after V&A Museum acquisition

29 August 2017

A sapphire and diamond coronet designed by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria has been acquired by the V&A Museum. It was previously sold by a London dealer to an overseas buyer but was blocked from export by the government in 2015.

Finaldi

Saved for the nation: Bellotto’s northern European view acquired by London’s National Gallery

23 August 2017

A painting by Canaletto’s nephew Bellotto has been saved for the nation after being acquired by the National Gallery in London.

Christopher Wood

Mod Brit art gallery appeals for funds to keep Christopher Wood’s ‘China Dogs’ painting

03 August 2017

Modern British art specialist Pallant House Gallery hopes to raise the final thousands of pounds needed to keep Christopher Wood’s ‘China Dogs in a St Ives Window’ (1926) in its Chichester gallery.

silver tankard

Somerset museum brings home 300-year old tankard after fundraising for auction bid

25 July 2017

The Bruton Museum in Somerset has bought a rare silver tankard at nearby saleroom Lawrences of Crewkerne.

Credi

Getty Museum chooses Old Master drawings for biggest-ever acquisition

24 July 2017

Los Angeles’ J Paul Getty Museum has bought 16 Old Master drawings in its largest-ever purchase by value.

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden bronze dirk

Ancient ‘peat bog’ bronze sword sells to Dutch museum at Christie’s

24 July 2017

A museum in The Netherlands has bought a 3000-year-old ceremonial sword at a Christie’s auction. It had been found around 120 years ago in a peat bog.

Halliwell screen

Collage bought at auction stars in Islington Museum exhibition to mark anniversary of death of infamous gay couple Orton and Halliwell

15 July 2017

Islington Museum is to show off the Kenneth Halliwell screen collage that it bought at auction as part of a new exhibition to mark two important anniversaries.

Wedgwood vase

Victory for public appeal as Wedgwood’s First Day’s vase returns to Staffordshire

05 July 2017

A long-running appeal to raise nearly half a million pounds to return a Wedgwood’s First Day’s vase to Staffordshire has triumphed.

Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Cup

The Goldsmiths’ Company pledges £10m to fund new museum

04 July 2017

The Goldsmiths’ Company has pledged £10m to help fund the creation of a new home for The Museum of London.

Felix Dennis Oz Archive

Archive of the ‘enfant terrible’ of the underground press bought by the V&A

17 June 2017

The Victoria & Albert Museum has bought the archive of revolutionary magazine Oz and its maverick founder and co-editor Felix Dennis (1947-2014).

Gérôme

Fitzwilliam Museum secures rediscovered Gérôme painting from dealer Daniel Katz

16 June 2017

A recently rediscovered Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904) painting has been bought by the Fitzwilliam Museum from dealer Daniel Katz.

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