Press Releases

Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales wins share of £75,000 contemporary craft prize

Independent charity The Art Fund and the Crafts Council today (15 May 2009) announced that Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales is one of the five winners of Art Fund Collect, a £75,000 award for curators to acquire a piece of contemporary craft for their museum or gallery.


Art Fund Collect took place yesterday, 14 May, the preview day of the Crafts Council's international fair Collect, held at London's Saatchi Gallery.

Andrew Renton, Head of Applied Art at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, was among ten curators to take part in a nail-biting race around the fair, with just one hour to select a new work for their museum or gallery.

An expert panel then selected the winning curators, awarding them a share of £75,000 to acquire their object outright.

Andrew Renton selected Red Stripe, 2008 by Rachael Woodman, for £6,500. The piece comprises eight coloured glass tubes on a slate base, brought alive with its dramatic use of colour. Rachael Woodman is an English glassmaker based in Bath. This work is the product of her collaboration with glassblower Stuart Hearn.

Andrew Renton said: "It's extremely encouraging for us that the Art Fund has recognised Amgueddfa Cymru's ambitions for its craft collections and enabled us to acquire a major new work. The Art Fund Collect scheme has done a wonderful job in boosting the confidence of curators of Britain's craft collections, and through this acquisition will now help the Museum realise its potential to play a full part in the vibrant craft scene in Wales. Significant craft works like this by the best artists and makers will soon make an important contribution to the Museum's redeveloped galleries of modern and contemporary art."

Andrew Macdonald, Deputy Director of The Art Fund, said: "These five museums have each come away with a beautiful and inspiring object representing the very best in contemporary craft. Art Fund Collect is proving to be a wonderful way for curators to be bold and select outstanding works ahead of private buyers, for the public to enjoy."

Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director, Crafts Council, said: "I extend my congratulations to the winning museums and galleries. The Crafts Council aims to make the UK the best place to make, see and collect contemporary craft, and Art Fund Collect is central to achieving all these objectives, supporting makers, public collections and opportunities for visitors to see the very best craft."

Now in its second year, Art Fund Collect was set up in 2008 by The Art Fund, the UK's leading independent art charity and the Crafts Council, the national development agency for contemporary craft, to encourage museums and galleries around the country to acquire the best in international contemporary craft. Due to the success of last year's Art Fund Collect, The Art Fund increased the prize from £50,000 to £75,000 this year.

The other winning museums and galleries are: Aberdeen Art Gallery, Bilston Craft Gallery, Wolverhampton, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima) and the V&A.

A total of 23 applications were received for Art Fund Collect in February 2009. The final shortlist of ten was announced in April.

Collect 2009 takes place from 15 to 17 May 2009 at the Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King's Road, London, SW3 4SQ.


Notes to editors:

The Art Fund: The Art Fund is the UK's leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collections; campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art. It is entirely funded from public donations and has 80,000 members. Since 1903 the charity has helped museums and galleries all over the UK secure 860,000 works of art for their collections. Recent achievements include: helping secure Titian's Diana and Actaeon for the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Gallery, London in February 2009 with a grant of £1 million; helping secure Anthony d'Offay's collection, ARTIST ROOMS, for Tate and National Galleries of Scotland in February 2008 with a grant of £1million; and running the ‘Buy a Brushstroke' public appeal which raised over £550,000 to keep Turner's Blue Rigi watercolour in the UK. For more information contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit

The Art Fund is a Registered Charity No. 209174

Crafts Council: The Crafts Council is the national development agency for contemporary crafts. The Crafts Council aims to position the UK as the best place in the world for making, seeing and collecting contemporary craft. For further information about the Crafts Council visit The Crafts Council is supported by Arts Council England. Arts Council England works to get great art to everyone by championing, developing and investing in artistic experiences that enrich people's lives. As the national development agency for the arts, we support a range of artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to digital art, and carnival to crafts. Great art inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves, and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2008 and 2011, we will invest £1.3 billion of public money from government and a further £0.3 billion from the National Lottery to create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales: Today Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, which celebrated its centenary in 2007, is a collection of seven national museums, each portraying different aspects of Wales's rich history and culture. These are National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans: National History Museum, the National Roman Legionary Museum, Big Pit: National Coal Museum, the National Wool Museum, the National Slate Museum and the National Waterfront Museum.

Entry to each Museum is free thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.

Information on National Museum Cardiff: National Museum Cardiff is a multidisciplinary museum housing collections of art, archaeology, geology and natural history. It is unique among British museums in its range of arts and science displays. The Museum currently welcomes around 300,000 visitors every year.

State of the art developments: The Museum is famous for its art collection, which is one of the finest in Europe. The collection includes works by Poussin, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Gainsborough and JMW Turner, sculptures by Rodin and Degas, and changing displays taken from our collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, including works by Monet, Renoir and Cézanne. Improving art displays, creating additional space and radical changes to the way in which works are shown all form a part of Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales' current drive to enhance the presentation of Wales' art collection, and mark important stages in the Museum's long-term plan to create a ‘National Gallery of Art for Wales.'