Charnel, 1994
Max Wigram

Manchester Art Gallery
3 July - 30 August 2004

Saving Art for the Nation: Do we need to rely less on pulling emotional and chauvinistic heart strings and more on developing arguments about the value of artefacts and collections to contemporary society?

Sir Nicholas Serota in a speech to the Art Fund's centennial conference makes a bid for a less chauvinistic and reactive approach to collecting and more emphasis on contemporary and international work. Too many public funds are swallowed up in trying to stop 'heritage' items from going abroad and not enough on making it "possible for people living outside London, that is the residents of Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Southampton and Bristol and those living within one hours ‘drive time’ of these cities, to have regular encounters with modern and contemporary art. " "As museum professionals, we need to place the public above institutional interest and not to assume that the two are necessarily identical [....]we have to be both less possessive and more imaginative in sharing items which are already in the public domain. "

For a full text of this speech click here.