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Contemporary Art Collections in Scotland

Since its inception in 2003, the National Collecting Scheme for Scotland has received approximately £650,000 from the Scottish Arts Council to support the sustained development of collections of contemporary visual arts by Scotland’s museums and galleries, as well as the curatorial expertise to do so. As well as attracting UK visitors, the National Collecting Scheme boosts Scotland’s profile as destination for international art audiences.

Tracey Emin, For You (2008). Photograph by Mike Davidson, Positive Image

In a new initiative, the Scottish Arts Council and the History of Art Department at the University of Glasgow have organised three, linked events, to promote sustained discussion about contemporary art collecting in Scottish museums and galleries.

Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts for the Scottish Arts Council said:

“Our museums and galleries are the backbone of our public collections of arts and crafts and despite competing for artworks in an international market with only a limited budget, many do an outstanding job.

‘The aim of the National Collecting Scheme is to provide a strong focus for collecting contemporary works from around the world, allowing Scottish audiences to enjoy a range of the very best art, no matter where they live.



‘The sector is evolving quickly and if these museums and galleries are to ensure and build on the presence of contemporary art in their collections for the long term, the achievements, priorities and responsibilities need to be articulated and shared.“

Two Seminars

Two seminars, took place earlier this year; in May, a panel event reviewed the present context in Scotland, including current initiatives ARTIST ROOMS, Art Fund International and NCSS, and in October, curators from public institutions in Barcelona, Eindhoven and Dijon discussed how they develop and present their collections of contemporary art.

Tracey Emin, For You (2008). Photograph by Mike Davidson, Positive Image

The final seminar, taking place in December, will encourage guests to share their views on future support and priorities for the building of contemporary collections could take and how sustainable contemporary collecting might be achieved.

Anyone interested in contemporary collecting is invited to participate, including individuals from organisations within the museums and higher education sectors, members of the visual artists’ community, and representatives from the art schools, non-collecting institutions and visual arts organisations, and commercial galleries.

For more information visit www.gla.ac.uk/contemporarycollectingscotland

For further details about the series and the December seminar, please contact Dr Tina Fiske, Research Associate, National Collecting Scheme Scotland.

Related internet links
* National Collection Scheme
* University of Glasgow
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