Collections –Definition of Heritage Reduced to 10 Years [added 10/02]
The Heritage Lottery Fund has made a significant time- leap in reducing the ‘age’ limit for the support of acquisitions to public collections from 20 to 10 years. The HLF Strategic Plan for 2002 – 2007 states the willingness of the fund to " support the acquisition of heritage objects and material, including works of art and archives created, or largely containing material from, no less than 10 years ago." This could have significant impact on the ability of galleries to build contemporary art collections – in short to ensure tomorrow’s heritage. To date, apart from a scheme run by the Contemporary Art Society on behalf of 15 regional museums in England, lottery funding for collections has been limited to work of art made over 20 years and in practice has been largely historic. Yet the great collections of today arose from the vision and means to acquire the work of living and often relatively unknown artists. Contemporary art intrinsically reflects upon contemporary life and circumstances and issues relevant to today’s audiences. These audiences increasingly share diverse cultural and social backgrounds and it is only just that public collections should hold and display works of today and tomorrow. This work is often of a challenging and provocative nature so let’s hope the new HLF guidelines will allow courageous implementation and not just the passive fulfilment of populism.
For details of the Contemporary Art Society scheme, which has given its limited number of participants an annual purchase budget of £30K click here.
For details of the Heritage Lottery Fund Strategic Plan 2002-2007, Broadening the Horizons of Heritage, click here, (scroll down to: Other Publications).