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.


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Rediscovered Japanese coffer sells to Rijksmuseum at £5m

09 July 2013

An exceptional piece of 17th century Japanese export lacquer with a provenance to match has produced the highest auction price in France this year when it was sold to the Rijksmuseum for a hammer price of €5.9m (£5.26m).

Christopher Dresser Society launches

10 June 2013

The Christopher Dresser Society will be launched at Teesside University on June 20.

Bodleian acquire Hopkins poem

07 May 2013

The original autograph draft manuscript for Gerard Manley Hopkins’ 1879 poem ‘Binsey Poplars’ has been acquired by the Bodleian Libraries.

Museum donation helps make fashionable acquisition

11 February 2013

The Design Museum has made its first significant fashion acquisition thanks to a donation by Jill Ritblat through the Art Fund.

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Wellby bequest is ‘best for a century’

04 February 2013

The collection of close to 500 silver and gold objects donated to the Ashmolean museum in Oxford by the late dealer-collector Michael Wellby has been described as the most important bequest of its type for over a century.

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Doyle oversee deal to boost archive at Anne Frank House

19 November 2012

The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam has acquired an important collection of letters, photos and documents relating to Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank.

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Appeal secures £3.9m Poussin

05 November 2012

An appeal launched by the Art Fund to save a Poussin painting for the nation has hit its £3.9m target.

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Manet portrait will stay at Ashmolean

28 August 2012

Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum has announced that it had succeeded in an eight-month campaign to save Edouard Manet’s ‘Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus’ for the nation.

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Museum buys Leach classic

23 July 2012

This slipware charger by Bernard Leach has been acquired by the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston.

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Second Burges brooch makes appearance

14 June 2012

Antiques Roadshow and Midlands auction house Gildings have conspired again to find a second William Burges brooch.

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Tate acquire major photography collection

21 May 2012

The Tate are to acquire a major photographic collection depicting images of London, which will go on display in a dedicated exhibition, entitled ‘Another London’, at Tate Britain at the end of July.

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Louvre acquires tureens made for George III

16 January 2012

SOTHEBY’S Paris have announced that they have negotiated a private treaty sale to the Louvre for an undisclosed sum of a pair of silver tureens, covers, liners and stands by the French goldsmith Robert-Joseph Auguste.

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Grant Dixon’s Worcester: not too Catholic taste

21 May 2011

THOMAS Grant Dixon formed his Worcester collection from 1940-70. This discerning collector was a great friend of H. Rissik Marshall, the famed Worcester collector and author whose collection now resides in the Ashmolean at Oxford.

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Christie’s broker sale of Ottoman tankard to V&A

26 April 2011

IN a private sale negotiated by Christie’s, the Victoria and Albert Museum has acquired this remarkable 16th century tankard made for the Ottoman court.

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Bedford Museum secures £850,000 Burges gem

28 February 2011

THE Cecil Higgins Art Gallery & Bedford Museum have secured this unique piece of furniture at a price of £850,000.

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Reunited after 200 years

20 September 2010

THANKS to a clever bit of detective work by one of its curators, the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle has been able to reunite a porcelain cup and saucer that have separated for over 200 years.

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Wallis of Louth heads home

29 April 2010

IN his day the work of the Lincolnshire woodcarver Thomas Wilkinson Wallis (1822-1903), who set up business in Louth in 1843, was favourably compared with that of the most famous English woodcarver of all, Grinling Gibbons (1648-1721).

London Jewish Museum scoops Chagall for £26,000

18 January 2010

THE London Jewish Museum of Art (the Ben Uri Gallery) have announced that they have purchased a crucifixion by Marc Chagall for what they believe to be a fraction of its real value at a Paris auction.

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Museums launch appeal to buy Anglo-Saxon hoard

07 December 2009

THE two museums hoping to provide a home for the Staffordshire hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold will be asking arts charities and other funding bodies to pay for it.

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Love triumphs as Ashmolean acquire £1m Titian tondo

29 June 2009

WHILE £50m was finally raised in February to keep the Duke of Sutherland's Titian painting Diana and Actaeon in the UK, an attempt to raise a further £50m by 2012 for the Duke's Diana and Callisto is already underway.

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