Apollo Magazine

Campaign saves Armada Portrait for the nation

Plus: Four cities shortlisted to host Great Exhibition of the North | J. Tomilson Hill to open private art museum in Manhattan | Tate given 35 days to disclose BP sponsorship figures | Çannakale Biennale to go ahead despite Turkish political uncertainty | and recommended reading

The Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I (c.1590) English School. The Art Fund

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Funds raised to keep Armada Portrait in the UK | A public appeal to acquire the ‘Armada Portrait’ of Elizabeth I has attracted some 800,000 donations from the public, totalling £1.5 million. The initiative has proved to be one of the most successful campaigns ever to save a work of art for the nation: in addition to a major grant of £7.4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, plus contributions from the Art Fund and RMG, a total of £10.3 million has been raised to keep the world-famous painting in the UK. ‘This campaign has been a triumph of popular will,’ said the Art Fund’s Stephen Deuchar. ‘Record numbers of donors, large and small, stepped forward with determination and generosity, creating an irresistible momentum that has brought this great work into public ownership at last.’ Now that the campaign has successfully closed, the painting will hang in the Queen’s House in Greenwich when it reopens this autumn.

Four cities shortlisted to host Great Exhibition of the North | Blackpool, Bradford, Newcastle-Gateshead, and Sheffield have been named as contenders to host the Great Exhibition of the North, UK culture minister Matt Hancock announced today. The exhibition, which is intended to display the ‘great creative, cultural and design sectors across the whole of the North, and boost investment and tourism in the region’, according to DCMS, will run for more than two months in 2018. ‘The Great Exhibition of the North is a unique opportunity to celebrate the creativity of Northern England,’ Hancock says. ‘I am determined we democratise the arts and celebrate the best in every part of our nation.’

J. Tomilson Hill to open private art museum in Manhattan | Art collector and private-equity billionaire J. Tomilson Hill has revealed plans to open a two-storey art gallery on Manhattan’s West 24th Street, reports the New York Times. The gallery, which will draw mostly from Hill’s collection of modern and contemporary art, and Old Masters, will be free of admission charges and provide arts education to students in the city.

Tate given 35 days to disclose BP sponsorship figures | After a three-year legal campaign by the Platform pressure group, an Information Tribunal verdict has ordered the Tate gallery to release how much funding it received from oil giant BP between 2007 and 2011. The Tate, which cited ‘commercial confidentiality’ as a reason not to disclose details of BP sponsorship, must now release the relevant information within 35 days. Yesterday, BP announced that it would renew sponsorship deals with the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House, and the Royal Shakespeare Company, contributing an overall total of £7.5 million over five years.

Çannakale Biennial to go ahead despite Turkish political uncertainty | A fortnight after the attempted military coup in Turkey, the organisers of the Çannakale Biennial have announced that the event will go ahead in September despite political uncertainty. ‘We are determined to realise this biennial even under the current difficult conditions,’ the event’s general director Beral Madra was quoted as saying in The Art Newspaper. ‘[…] We trust the prudence and will of the people and the officials who support the biennale as a product of democracy.’

Recommended reading | In the New York Times, Susan Mulcahy reports on how Nashville’s Fisk University sold two paintings from its collection ‘under the radar’ in the midst of a controversy over the proposed sale of works that violated the conditions of the bequest. In Le Monde, meanwhile, Harry Bellet recounts the story of Fernand Legros, ‘one of the biggest crooks of his generation.’ The Egyptian-born art dealer made a fortune from selling the forgeries of Elmyr de Hory. Elsewhere, The Art Newspaper carries outlines the Nobel Prize-winning Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk’s manifesto for museums, as delivered to the ICOM conference in Milan this month.


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