HLF gives £5.9m to Manet appeal
May 7 2012
Excellent news from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which has decided to give £5.9m towards the Ashmolean Museum's acquisition ofMademoiselle Claus (above, with director Christopher Brown). Well done the HLF. From The Guardian:
The grant was made through the new fast-track procedure introduced by the Heritage Lottery Fund last year to help national collections raise purchase funds quickly. Chief executive Carole Souter called it an extraordinary painting, "luminous, beautiful, a real masterclass in brush stroke technique".
The Art Fund charity has already given £750,000, and individuals and friends of the museum – one of the oldest public museums in the world and now the most visited in the UK outside London – have given a further £200,000.
Does this mean that the HLF is now looking more kindly on acquisitions? Let us hope so. We have recently seen a worrying number of important works leave the country for want of acquisition funds, and there are many important pictures in the queue, so to speak. Other sources of funding for acquisitions, such as the National Heritage Memorial Fund, are drying up fast. Only the HLF, which is awash with money, nowadays has the fire-power to save our art historical national heritage.
The Ashmolean only has £908,000 outstanding, which it must raise by 7th August. You can make a dent in that amount here.