international collecting

Saving Art for the Nation: 2003 Centenary Conference of the National Art Collections Fund

Author(s)  
Art Fund
Publisher  
London, NACF
2004

‘Saving Art for the Nation’ is a compilation of addresses, discussions and case studies from the 2003 Centenary Conference of the National Art Collections Fund; contributing voices include Sir Nicolas Serota (Tate London), Sir Timothy Clifford (National Galleries Scotland), Dr David Fleming (National Museum Liverpool) and a variety of museum professionals and interested parties. The most significant concern of the conference was to instigate ongoing collecting, after all, ‘a closed collection is a dead collection,’ especially focusing on the acquisition of contemporary art and international art—a weak point among many of the national collections. In fact, a growing appreciation for ‘global culture’ is present among many of the conference addresses. This is evidenced not only by relaxing attempts to keep pieces of heritage within the UK but also encouraging its display in other parts of the world and in new contexts. The conference also considered the vestiges of patriotism and heritage that surrounds national collections and encouraged institutions to challenge complacent notions of ‘Britishness’. These sentiments ultimately shifted the institutional responsibility towards its public audience and the ways that a collection should express the identity of a community.

Shelby Lakins

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