RAMM scoops art prize
17 May 2010
RAMM curators, Penny Sexton and Tony Eccles, have won an intricately crafted £17,000 lacquered container with gold motifs for the museum’s World Cultures collection. The exquisite container was won at COLLECT, the Crafts Council’s international art fair for contemporary objects at London’s Saatchi Gallery.
One of only five winners
RAMM is one of five museums to win a share of £75,000 to buy their selected object thanks to Art Fund Collect, an initiative aimed at championing contemporary craft and increasing its presence in UK collections. Art Fund Collect took place on Thursday 13 May, the preview day of COLLECT.
How they won
Ahead of private buyers, short-listed curators had one hour to go around the fair and pick an object to acquire on behalf of their museum or gallery. Final selections were submitted to an expert panel of judges, who decided which curators should win a share of the £75,000 funding pot to acquire their chosen object outright.
RAMM’s curators selected Golden Fields of Rice (2009), a fine example of the craftsmanship of the highly skilled lacquer maker, Mutsumi Suzuki. Born in Kyoto in 1942, Suzuki sadly died last year and this piece meant a great deal to him.
A total of eleven museums and galleries were short-listed to take part in Art Fund Collect this year, out of a total of 21 applications from across the UK.
The other four winners of Art Fund Collect 2010 are: Aberdeen Art Gallery; the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead; and the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.
Alan Caig, Head of Leisure and Museums for Exeter City Council, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be one of the winners and to be able to bring this stunning lacquer object to Exeter’s collections. We have a long tradition of collecting lacquer and Golden Fields of Rice beautifully complements other pieces in the collection. It will feature in RAMM’s new displays when the museum opens next year. It is also a wonderful addition to RAMM’s resources for students, artists and craftsmen. We are grateful to Art Fund Collect for providing us with this rare and unusual opportunity to boost our collections.”
Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, said: “It’s a delight to see five winning curators each walking away from Art Fund Collect with an extraordinary new object for their collections. Art Fund Collect is a smart and swift way of boosting public collections with the best of international contemporary craft. It’s also frankly fun – offering curators from across the country a chance to mingle, exchange ideas and soak up the atmosphere of the fair, alongside the excitement of the competition itself.”
The Crafts Council
Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director of the Crafts Council, said: “Once again, Art Fund Collect enables museums and galleries to acquire ambitious, bold and innovative contemporary craft. Making it possible for people to see contemporary craft in public collections is at the centre of the Crafts Council’s vision and Art Fund Collect is a key way that we make this happen. My congratulations to RAMM on their success this year.”
Where to see the prizes
Each of the eleven objects chosen by short-listed curators can be seen at COLLECT, which runs from 14 – 17 May at the Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London SW3 4SQ.
About Art Fund Collect
Art Fund Collect is run by the Art Fund and the Crafts Council, the national development agency for contemporary craft in the UK.
Image: Penny Sexton, Curator of Exhibitions, and Tony Eccles, Curator of Ethnography with Golden Fields of Rice, 2009 by Mutsumi Suzuki. Photo by Mark Crick.