Art News

Cash-Strapped Museums Must Work Together to Keep Building and Refreshing their Collections

LONDON.- Staffing and financial worries are in danger of taking their toll on museums’ ability to build their collections according to the Art Fund’s latest research, the Collecting Challenge 2010. The research, which surveyed 276 UK museums, found that three-quarters of museums say that inadequate funding and spending cuts are the biggest barrier to museums’ collecting activity. This is a trend felt particularly strongly by Local Authority museums, just 14% of which could count adding to their collections as a priority, compared to almost half of National museums, prompting concerns that Local Authority collections will fall behind. At the same time museums fear that staff cutbacks could have serious long term implications for their collections with the threatened loss of curatorial skills. 20% of museums and galleries say that avoiding staff cuts, and therefore loss of expertise is a major obstacle to collecting. Dr Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund said