NCSS Home > Featured Acquisitions

Featured Acquisitions


A key aim for the NCSS is that its museum partners are enabled to acquire and present challenging contemporary visual art for and within the contexts of their established collections.

The museums and galleries participating in the NCSS seek to research and acquire works through articulated collecting policies; developed within Phase 1 of the initiative, each partnerís policy continues to evolve specifically in relation to their existing collections.

In this way, special consideration is given to embedding contemporary artworks meaningfully and imaginatively with the partner institutionsí wider collections. Acquisitions made with the support of the initiative are designed to relate intimately to existing areas of strength within those collections, or can draw out other more implicit themes and characteristics. This relationship is vitally important:

'We have to try to bear that in mind, so that it builds out and connects ... will it look like it makes sense with everything else? [We want it to look like] a sensible piece of curation 50 years down the line'.

'There was always been a will to collect contemporary art, but NCSS made that real... enabled it to fit in with our historic collection.'

'It is ... what comes back into the collection and what we can then do with that.'

Featuring acquisitions

As such, it is critical that acquisitions made with the support of the NCSS take a meaningful and imaginative place alongside and in relation to other works from their incumbent collections; this can entail their presentation as part of collections displays or temporary exhibitions that draw from the widest reaches of their holdings, or their incorporation within display contexts that are more focused on contemporary work.

An aim is that NCSS acquisitions can function as suggestive starting points for developing projects or displays, or that their inclusion in exhibitions or displays may generate new resonances and perspectives.

Profiled here are exhibitions and collections displays developed by three NCSS museum partners, which feature or include acquisitions made through the NCSS alongside other existing holdings and recent significant acquisitions. Those projects are: