Towner & Whitworth first to participate in pilot scheme for collecting artists’ film and video

Posted on 1/10/2015
Ori Gersht, The Forest. Private View at Towner Art Gallery. Photo: Avant Commercial

Ori Gersht, The Forest, 2005. Private View at Towner Art Gallery. Photo: Avant Commercial

We are delighted to share the news that we have been selected, along with  Whitworth in Manchester (winner of Museum of the Year 2015), for the Art Fund’s Moving Image Fund for Museums, which officially launched on Monday. Currently in its pilot phase, the scheme with provide £200,000 to each gallery over the next two years. It is an Art Fund project conceived in partnership with and supported by Thomas Dane Gallery.

The Moving Image Fund for Museums is a response to the challenges faced by UK museums in building their collections of moving-image works. The first scheme of its kind in the UK, it aims to ensure that the most significant works of contemporary film and video art can be bought for public collections.

In the current economic climate UK galleries struggle to find the funds to acquire film and video works, which are expensive to produce and complex to exhibit. There are many important galleries with internationally significant collections across the UK, but most have modest budgets to expand (or start) their video and film collections – and some have none at all.

The Moving Image Fund for Museums supports film and video acquisitions during these challenging times. The Moving Image Fund for Museums is generously supported by the Ampersand Foundation, the Art Fund, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, Thomas Dane Gallery, Gerry Fox, David and Rose Heyman, Pierre Lagrange, Rebecca Marks, the Outset Young Production Fund, The Rothschild Foundation and the Sfumato Foundation.

Emma Morris, Executive Director, Towner Art Gallery says: 

“Towner’s collection started from a philanthropic gift of 22 paintings by Alderman John Chisholm Towner in 1922 and many more since. Critical to developing our collection of contemporary art has been the Art Fund, who have supported us in acquiring works for many years and who, along with Thomas Dane Gallery, have showed incredible vision and foresight in establishing the Moving Image Fund.

“Towner’s commitment to collecting moving image works started over a decade ago and includes significant works by Tacita Dean, Ori Gersht, Yael Bartana and Joao Penlava. The Moving Image Fund is a fantastic opportunity for Towner to further develop our collection of this medium and establish ourselves as the leading venue for moving image in the South East.”

Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said:

‘This pioneering scheme aims to bring significant film and video works into public collections on a more regular basis, promoting and protecting an increasingly important medium. We are extremely grateful to the generous consortium of supporters for making the Art Fund’s Moving Image Fund for Museums possible. We keenly look forward to seeing what the Towner Art Gallery and the Whitworth select for their first acquisitions.’

Thomas Dane and Martine d’Anglejan-Chatillon, partners at the gallery, added:

‘Works of film, video and digital media are important expressions of the culture in which we live. Artists working in these media deserve to take their rightful place in public collections alongside the great exponents of painting, sculpture and photography. We are very pleased to have worked with the Art Fund in bringing this fund into being.’