In light of state funding cuts, the Art Fund and the London commercial gallery Thomas Dane, have launched a Moving Image Fund for Museums to help public collections bolster their film and video holdings. The first recipients are Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne and the Whitworth in Manchester and both are to receive £200,000 each over two years.
The Moving Image Fund was started this year as a pilot scheme, and is the “first of its kind in the UK and aims to ensure that the most significant works of contemporary film and video art can be acquired for public collections”, says a press statement. Arts Council England has had its government grant cut by 36% since 2010. “The forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review [to be announced in November] is expected to mean museum operating budgets are cut even further,” the statement adds.
Thomas Dane stated to the press: “Artists working in these media deserve to take their rightful place in public collections alongside the great exponents of painting, sculpture and photography,” The gallery represents a number of artists working in new media, such as Steve McQueen and Paul Pfeiffer.
Stephen Deuchar, the director of the Art Fund, expressed his gratitude to the “generous consortium of supporters” behind the fund, which includes the film-maker Gerry Fox, the producer of the Harry Potter films David Heyman and his wife Rose, the London-based Sfumato foundation and the Belgian financier Pierre Lagrange. Deuchar added: “We keenly look forward to seeing what the Towner Art Gallery and the Whitworth select for their first acquisitions.”