It is always a cause for celebration when new works of art enter a collection, and it is vitally important for art galleries and museums to continue to collect. New acquisitions keep our collections alive, and encourage us to look at familiar work with fresh eyes.
Over the past four years the Ulster Museum Art Collection has been enriched by gift, bequest, loan and purchase. In this display most, but not all, of the new acquisitions are shown alongside work already in the collection. This exhibition highlights the many ways in which new acquisitions can strengthen and revitalise the collection.
We have been fortunate to receive gifts and support from artists, the public, the Art Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Friends of the Ulster Museum. We have also benefited from the Acceptence in Lieu scheme, whereby art of outstanding importance is accepted in lieu of tax by HM Government and allocated to a UK Museum. In this way we have acquired work by Frank Auerbach, Ben Nicholson, and an exceptional Jacob van Ruisdael. The new acquisitions include five works by artists from the north of Ireland; Joseph Wilson, Charles Lamb, Basil Blackshaw, Willie Doherty and Hannah Starkey. In the future, we will continue to collect and we will always be interested in exploring new opportunities to develop the Art Collection.