Labour manifesto promises ambitious arts agenda

Plus: Museums join forces to digitise collections | Estorick director awarded Italy’s top honour | and Cincinnati Art Museum receives gift of $12m

17 May 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Labour reveals cultural manifesto | The UK Labour Party has revealed its manifesto ahead of next month’s general election, and with it comes details of its arts agenda. Labour has pledged £1 billion towards a new Cultural Capital Fund to be administered by the Arts Council, intended to ‘upgrade our existing cultural and creative infrastructure to be ready for the digital age’. The fund would distribute an annual sum of £200m to arts organisations over a five-year period, with a focus ‘on projects that could increase museums’ and galleries’ income and viability’. The party also promises to maintain free admission to museums and reverse cuts to local authorities’ cultural budgets.

Museums join forces to digitise collections | A new database has been established with the aim of digitising some 25 million images from the collections of international museums. The initiative has been overseen by New York’s Frick Collection, and will make images of paintings, photographs and art-historical documents from institutions including the Courtauld, the Getty Research Institute and the Yale Center For British Art available to students, professors and researchers.

Estorick director awarded Italy’s top honour | In a ceremony in London yesterday, Estorick Collection director Roberta Cremoncini was appointed Cavaliere of the Order of Merit, Italy’s top civil honour (Italian language article). The decoration was established in 1951, and is Italy’s answer to a British knighthood, awarded for ‘merit acquired for the nation’. ‘Constant has been her commitment to enhancing the promotion and development of Italian art in Great Britain. Italy cherishes and applauds her work,’ commented Italy’s ambassador to the UK.

Cincinnati Art Museum receives gift of $12m | The Cincinnati Art Museum has received the biggest donation in its 136-year history. Philanthropists Carl and Alice Bimel have bequested $11.75m to the institution in order to establish an endowment for Asian art. The money will allow the museum to develop and enhance its collections of South Asia, Greater Iran and Afghanistan art.