The day brought together curators from twenty-two Craft Collections from our national membership of twenty-nine Member Museums. With such a wonderful turn-out on the hottest day of the year we still managed to keep our attention on the topic of the day: The way forward for our new Acquisitions Scheme for Craft
Glenn Adamson, Deputy Head of Research and Head of Graduate Studies at the V&A gave an inspiring and challenging key note.
Lucy Byatt, Head of National Programmes at the Contemporary Art Society then outlined an idea for the Scheme; to acquire a cluster of between eight and ten works across the membership. Shared acquisitions present challenges as well as important opportunities and could enable us to see more comprehensively how existing collections could be a shared resource across the twenty-nine Member Museums that are all subscribers to our Acquisitions Scheme.
The advantages of such a plan would be that museums would work together to acquire a smaller number of more significant works and, through doing so, consider how they would show this cluster of new works alongside and within each of their distinctive collections.
The idea brought out many challenges but all those who attended the day spent the afternoon working together to find solutions and inform the way forward.
We are now developing a simple questionnaire that would identify the priorities for each collection. This information will enable us to suggest partnerships that would link collections nationally through common collecting concerns.