Art Fund New Collecting Awards Now Open

This funding programme enables promising and ambitious curators to build critical professional skills by pursuing new avenues of collecting for their museums.

Applications for the fourth round of the scheme are now open.

The deadline to submit an expression of interest is 13 February 2018. Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to present to the New Collecting Awards panel in late April 2018.


Through the New Collecting Awards programme we aim to support the next generation of curatorial leaders across the UK. The awards promote the value of research-led collecting and foster curatorial expertise at both individual and institutional levels, enriching museum practice long-term.

Offering 100% funding for focused collecting projects of the highest quality, the scheme enables curators to expand museum collections of fine art, design or visual culture into exciting new areas, or to deepen existing holdings in imaginative ways.

Each awardee also receives a generous funding allocation towards research, travel and training costs to facilitate their proposed collecting plans and professional development. Additionally, they are offered the ongoing support of a mentor, Art Fund staff and our trustees.

Who can apply?

We welcome applications from curators who are either in the early stages of their career or have had limited opportunities to collect.

We expect applicants to be in full- or part-time employment at a fully or provisionally accredited museum or gallery. We will also consider applications from freelance curators or researchers, provided they can demonstrate that they will be officially affiliated with an accredited museum or gallery for the duration of the project and that their participation will have a longer-term institutional impact.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate why receiving a New Collecting Award would benefit not only their museum and its collections but also, crucially, their own professional development in a way that would not otherwise be possible.

How much can you apply for?

Typical grant awards fall between £50,000 and £80,000. Curators can apply for any amount but will be expected to demonstrate that the sum is reasonable and proportionate in relation to the types and number of works they propose to collect.

With generous support from the KMF Maxwell Stuart Charitable Trust, one award will be ringfenced for a curator working with a collection in a museum or gallery in Scotland.

The allocation for professional development is ringfenced at 10% of the total sum awarded.

Please note that we retain the right to award a reduced grant for either planned acquisitions or professional development at our own discretion.

Find out how to apply and read about the previous winners.

The New Collecting Awards are made possible by a number of generous individuals and trusts including the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation, the Ruddock Foundation of the Arts, the Headley Trust and the Vivmar Foundation.


3rd National Museums and Wellbeing Week

12th – 18th March 2018

The third Museums and Wellbeing Week will take place between 12-18 March 2018. The National Alliance for Museums, Health and Wellbeing with co-ordinate the week, which will showcase the inspiring work museums across the UK are either already doing in the field or would like to pilot.

Get involved!

They want to hear from you if you’re a museum, cultural or heritage organisation whatever your size and are interested in:

  • Showcasing what you’re already doing and badge your existing health and wellbeing provision
  • Piloting and developing new activities or running a one-off activity
  • Setting up a pop-up information stand for an afternoon or even an hour with a member of staff, volunteer or freelance artist
  • Want to publicise your events through Twitter with event hashtag #museumsandwellbeing

    Benefits to you

    • Free publicity through the National Alliance for Museums, Health and Wellbeing
    • Being part of a national initiative to raise awareness of health and wellbeing work in museums
    • An opportunity to make connections with potential local health and wellbeing partners and key influencers

      How to get involved

Upcoming Opportunities with the British Museum

CALL FOR PARTNERS: New Partnership Spotlight Loan 

The golden age of satire? Late-Georgian satirical prints has been developed to complement the themes explored in the major British Museum exhibition, I, Object (title TBC), which will be on show in London from the 6 September 2018 – 20 January 2019. Through a selection of 8-10 satirical prints, this partnership Spotlight loan will explore the complex relationship between those in power and those who sought – through ridicule – to puncture their authority. We are seeking three partners to host the exhibition between February – November 2019. Further details are here. If you are interested in hosting the exhibition, please complete the Expression of Interest form and return to Eleanor Chant by Friday 12 January 2018. 

SAVE THE DATE: Money & Medals Network Day Conference 2018

The Money & Medals Network is pleased to announce a national conference, which will be held at the British Museum on 23 March 2018 to celebrate the work conducted with three years of Arts Council England SSN funding 2015-18. This one-day event is free to attend and open to anyone working or volunteering with numismatic collections in UK museums and other public institutions. The programme will include themed sessions on collections mapping, local numismatic networks, numismatic education and outreach projects, and the display of numismatics. Further details and how to book a place will be circulated in the New Year. Please save the date!

SAVE THE DATE: National Programmes Conference 2018 

Please save the date for next year’s British Museum National Programmes Conference, which will be held on Monday 3 September 2018 thanks to the generous support of the Vivmar Foundation. Developed in partnership with the Digital Preservation Coalition, this free one-day conference will explore best practice in how we as a sector create, curate and preserve digital content – looking at both the exciting, outward-facing opportunities it can bring for our audiences and professional communities, and the back-of-house work that makes it possible. Central to the day will be the question: if we are memory institutions, how are we ensuring that we retain all the digital memory that we’re creating?  A call for papers will be circulated in the New Year.

VACANCY: Project Assistant: National Programmes 

We are currently recruiting for a new Project Assistant to join our friendly team. The post holder will coordinate arrangements for Spotlight loans and small touring exhibitions of British Museum objects to venues throughout the UK, as part of the Museum’s commitment to sharing knowledge and collections with partnerships across the UK. The role is part-time (3 days per week) and fixed term until 31 March 2019. The closing date for applications is Thursday 21 December 12pm. Click here for further details.


Why Exhibitions? Strategies, audiences, and future directions’ conference

Wednesday 21st – Thursday 22nd February 2018
Venues: Tate Britain; National Portrait Gallery, London; and National Gallery, London

Museum professionals and researchers are invited to join us for this major conference offered by the Understanding British Portraits professional network, the European Paintings pre-1900 network, and the British Art Network. It will examine the motivations behind exhibition programming, the practical challenges, and the future of exhibitions. For example, do UK museums have the in-house expertise to generate scholarly, audience-responsive, profitable exhibitions? How do they accommodate the demands of various stakeholders – curators, marketing and learning teams, audiences, and funders? And if the future is digital, what will audiences lose (and gain) by a virtual – rather than physical – engagement with museums and their collections? The conference panels will address these and many other questions around the decision-making, delivery, and consumption of temporary exhibitions.

The conference panels will be chaired by Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery; Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery; and Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain. The programme will include panel discussions, private views, and time to meet fellow delegates at Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Gallery.

Why Exhibitions? 21 to 22 Feb 2018 – programme

Why Exhibitions? 21 to 22 Feb 2018 – booking form

Museums Association Seiminar: All Inclusive: Championing Diversity in Museums

Wednesday 24th January
Thinktank, Birmingham

Through a series of talks, discussion, debate and exchange, this event explores how museums can become truly inclusive spaces and representational platforms, and champion equality at every level. 

This event is for anyone that is working towards diversity and inclusion at a museum or relevant organisation and wants to:

•             understand the various cases for a diverse approach

•             challenge convention in the field of equality, diversity and inclusion in museums, including broadening out the perceived meaning of these terms

•             embrace more inclusive working practices

•             find out how other organisations have promoted a more diverse culture

•             develop strategies for addressing issues such as unconscious bias, recruitment and retention, and power dynamics

•             discuss how diversity can move from the margins to mainstream museum practice, and how we can create allies for diversity across the sector.


Anisa Haghdadi, Chief Executive Officer, Beatfreeks
Samar Ziadat, Co-founder & Editor, Dardishi
James Brandon, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Tate
Rachael Minott, Research Assistant, Change Makers (Story Lab- Empires), Birmingham Museums Trust
Caroline Currie, Learning and Access Curator, Burrell Redevelopment, Glasgow Museums
Dan Vo, Project Coordinator LGBTQ Tours, V&A Museums
Charlotte Holmes, Community Engagement Officer, Collecting Birmingham, ‎Birmingham Museums Trust
Sacha Coward, Community Participation Producer, ‎Royal Museums Greenwich
Thanh Sinden, Strategic Audience Development Manager, ‎Culture Coventry Trust
Anna Liesching, Curator of Art, National Museums Northern Ireland
Lauren Deere, Museum Manager, Thinktank
Victoria Ryves, Volunteer and Community Engagement Officer, Doncaster Heritage Services
Elliot Goodger, Heritage Interpreter, Birmingham Museums Trust

For full details, timetable and ways to book please click here

Between Spaces – Museum and cultural interventions for young people in adolescent mental health care inpatient settings

UCL Museums and Collections need your help!

Working with researchers at the UCL Institute of Education we are carrying out scoping exercise on museum interventions with young in adolescent mental health care inpatient settings. The aim of this small scale research exercise is to better understand young people’s experiences, the potential impact these interventions have as well as the experiences of museum practitioners.

Have you worked in these settings or on projects with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services?

If you have we would like to hear about your experiences. Please drop Dean Veall an email on

Museums on Prescription

Museums on Prescription was a three year project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and carried out by researchers at University College London and Canterbury Christ Church University. The project connected older people at risk of social isolation (referred through health services, local authorities, adult social care and third-sector organisations) with seven partner museums in London and Kent, and researched the processes, practices, value and impact of social prescription schemes with specific reference to museums (including galleries).

The research found the programmes had a positive impact on participants psychological wellbeing over the duration of programmes across 10 weeks, using the UCL Museums Wellbeing Measure. The museum partners also created a guide to working with older adults which also outlines how they developed a social prescription project. This can be downloaded here.

If you would like more information about the project please contact Dean Veall  

Job Opportunities

West Yorkshire Playhouse
Buzz Development Worker
Part time; Salary: £18,000 pa (pro rata)

The Buzz Development Worker is a pivotal role in the development of West Yorkshire Playhouse’s work with young people with learning disabilities. The successful candidate will continue help plan and deliver creative arts opportunities, pathways and progression routes in the arts sector for young people with learning disabilities. As part of a dedicated team, the Buzz Development Worker will also provide pastoral support during activities. They will be based at First Floor, the Playhouse’s youth arts space.

The Buzz Development Worker will need experience of working on creative projects with young people with learning disabilities, project management experience, and a passion for the development of young people and for the arts.

For more information and to apply for this post click here.

The deadline for applications is 5.00pm on Tuesday 12 December 2017.

Interviews will be held at First Floor on Monday 18 December 2017.

York Museums Trust
Curator of Archaeology
Salary: £27,647 – £29,474 pa; full time, permanent

We are seeking a Curator of Archaeology to support the Senior Curator in building the Yorkshire Museum’s position as a leading regional museum. 

You will develop, manage and research the museum’s designated archaeological collection, and ensure that our programming continues to be family friendly and visitor focused.  You will also represent the Yorkshire Museum both internally and externally, building on its reputation with key partners.

We’re looking for someone with a degree in an appropriate subject, plus significant experience of working with (and proven expert knowledge of) archaeological collections.  You will also need to have experience in exhibition delivery and organisation, and collections management and documentation. 

Access the job description and application form here.

Closing date for applications is 9.00am on Monday 18 December 2017.

Interviews will take place in York on Thursday 11 January 2018.

The JORVIK Centre
Salary: £18,000 pa, full time, permanent

The JORVIK group are looking for an enthusiastic technician to join the Technical Department at our award winning JORVIK Viking Centre in York.  Our technicians work to keep our visitor attractions working efficiently and safely around the clock.  You will be based predominantly at JORVIK in Coppergate, but will also work at our other Attractions and sites within York.  This is a permanent contract working 40 hours a week on a shift basis. Hours will include some weekends and bank holidays and occasional emergency call outs. You will be self motivated and reliable with at least one year’s experience within a technical field or similar tourist attraction.  You will also hold relevant qualifications to include mechanical engineering, electronic or electrical certifications, and have IT skills including Word and Excel, plus basic health and safety and manual handling knowledge.  Ideally you will be a qualified driver and have experience working with the public.   For an informal discussion please contact Mark Shepherd on 01904 543416

The Job description and Application form are available from the JORVIK Group website. 

Interviews will be held w/c 8 January 2018.  Further details on the Trust’s Recruitment, Rewards and Benefits can be found at:

Closing date: 31 December 2017.

Museums Sheffield
Exhibition & Display Curator (maternity cover)
Salary: £26,390 (pro-rata); Part-time (22.5 hrs pw), temporary (6 months)

Museums Sheffield delivers a broad ranging programme of exhibitions and displays across three sites; Millennium Gallery, Graves Gallery and Weston Park Museum. The programme reflects the breadth of Sheffield’s collections as well as contemporary art.

This role will support the Head of Exhibitions & Displays in the planning and delivery of the programme. The position will involve all aspects of exhibition making, from research and curating, to delivery and installation. The post holder will have a good knowledge of art, craft and design and be creative and flexible in their approach. We are committed to creating inspiring experiences.

Apply online here.

For more information please contact / 0114 2782620

Closing date: noon on 3 January 2018.

Interviews will take place on 17 January 2018. 

Humber Bridge Board
Project Manager: Hidden Histories of the Humber Bridge
Freelance post (early 2018 to end June 2019)
Budget available: £27,000

The Humber Bridge has been an iconic landmark since 1981 and it is now a Grade 1 listed structure. The Bridge is also approaching its 40th anniversary in 2021 and we are starting an ambitious programme of heritage development activity. The idea is to tell the story of the Bridge with and for the community. 

The Humber Bridge Board, which is an independent organisation responsible for operating the crossing, has been awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to set up an exciting new Hidden Histories initiative. We need an experienced project manager to delivery this community venture.

The role will deliver an oral history collection project with volunteering and community involvement at its heart, developing a touring exhibition programme and, ultimately, a heritage festival. The work will be based in East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire, with meetings at our headquarters in Hessle.

The application pack can be downloaded here and completed documents should be sent to

Closing date: Monday 8 January at 5.00pm. 

Building Resilience Showcase from Army Museums Ogilby Trust

Save the date
Wednesday 7th February 2018
Central Manchester (venue tbc)

Join the Trust for an interactive day showcasing the range of work achieved through the Army Museums into the Future project. It promises to be a packed day full of discussion, presentations and workshops and including our popular ‘hot desk’ sessions where you can sign up for one-to-one expert advice on topics such as funding, investment, grants and trusts.

More details will be shared soon.

Navigating the Art Market

Free Training Course
Friday 23rd February 2018
Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London

Art Fund are running this course in conjunction with Sotheby’s Institute of Art.    It is aimed at museum professionals to provide a practical understanding of the art market.  Topics will range from how to bid at auction and the legal aspects of acquiring art to tips for cultivating relationships with art dealers and collectors.

The course will use a combination of online training and a day seminar at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London on 23 February 2018.  The seminar in London will offer an opportunity to review online material, network with curators and art world experts as well as offering insight into the workings of the auction house Sotheby’s.

The course is targeted at early career curators interested in gaining a practical understanding of the art market and more experienced curators wishing to refresh their knowledge.   Applications are open to all museum and gallery professionals, but given the limited spaces available, priority will be given to curators and others who work with public collections. 

Courses offered by the Sotheby’s Institute normally charge a fee, however this course, specifically aimed at museum professionals will be free to attend (with lunch included) for those who are offered a place.   

For more details and to apply click here.

Application deadline: 12 noon on Wednesday 10 January 2018.