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.


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.

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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).

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“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.

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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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Ottawa museum buys Canadian VC group

07 May 2018

One of the finest Victoria Cross medals awarded to a Canadian recipient will be staying in Canada thanks to a successf ul fundraising campaign.

Juan de Zurbaran still life

Sotheby’s brokers sale of rare Juan de Zurbarán still life to National Gallery

27 April 2018

Sotheby’s has negotiated the private sale of a still life by Juan de Zurbarán (1620-1649) to the National Gallery, London.

RA

Shortlist announced for London Original Print Fair museums’ acquisitions prize

24 April 2018

The London Original Print Fair (LOPF) has shortlisted five institutions for this year’s acquisition award. The successful entrant will win £8000 to spend at the fair which takes place at the Royal Academy of Arts on May 3-6.

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London dealer sells Van Gogh still-life to Dutch museum

18 April 2018

Connaught Brown has sold a still-life by Vincent van Gogh (1853-90) to the Noordbrabants Museum in the Netherlands.

Victoria and Albert Museum wall hanging

V&A Museum buys large embroidery made for Louis XIV’s mistress at Brussels fair

03 April 2018

The Victoria & Albert Museum has purchased a rare 17th century wall hanging from the Belgian restorer and weaver De Wit Fine Tapestries.

Gosvenor Museum

Charitable trust buys French rococo chairs for Chester museum collection

27 March 2018

A charitable trust has bought two pairs of 18th century French chairs from National Galleries of Scotland for a museum in Chester.

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National Portrait Gallery seeks help from trade to grow collection

26 March 2018

The UK's National Portrait Gallery (NPG) has funding in place for vernacular portraits ‘owned by ordinary people’. It is calling on the trade to help it acquire works for a new exhibition centred on identity before the era of painted portraiture.

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‘Bigger and better’ Liotard portrait sold to German museum

26 March 2018

A private museum in south-west Germany has bought a portrait by Swiss artist Jean- Etienne Liotard (1702-89) from London Old Master dealer Derek Johns.

Abbey

Westminster Abbey pictures by artist Alexander Creswell bought by dean for new exhibition

17 March 2018

Westminster Abbey is to unveil a series of watercolours after the Dean and Chapter of Westminster purchased a group of 35 pictures from artist Alexander Creswell.

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Brunel Museum to use Thames Tunnel archive bought at Bonhams as centrepiece of its expansion plans

26 February 2018

A fascinating archive of designs for Brunel’s Thames Tunnel sold at Bonhams was bought by a museum dedicated to the pioneering structure to form the centrepiece of a £4.5m expansion, it has been revealed.

Teapot

The story behind the Met’s epic £460,000 auction battle for ‘America’s first china teapot’

26 February 2018

A hitherto unrecorded teapot attributed to a pioneering North American porcelain factory sold last week for a remarkable £460,000 (plus premium) at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury.

Book of Hours

Louvre secures funding from 8500 donors to buy £8m Book of Hours once owned by Francis I of France

20 February 2018

The Louvre Museum in Paris has raised more than £8m to buy a jewel-encrusted Book of Hours.

V&A

Museum acquisitions under threat from lack of funding report warns

16 February 2018

Museums in the UK have been selling off their collections and have been unable to buy new works of art due to funding issues, a “deeply depressing” report has revealed.

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