The Acquisitions Committee

Acquisitions are made through a committee of eight individuals. The internal members of the Acquisitions Committee are Jill Constantine (Head of Arts Council Collection), with Ralph Rugoff (Director, Hayward Gallery), Natalie Rudd (Senior Curator, Arts Council Collection) and Peter Heslip (Director, Visual Arts, Arts Council England).

The external advisers to the Acquisitions Committee, usually an artist, a writer, and a curator, are appointed for a fixed two-year tenure and make recommendations to purchase innovative works of art that reflect artistic practice in Britain at the time. There is also an external advisor from the Arts Council Collection Partnership.  This position is for one year for a curator from a regional museum partner.

The external advisers to the Acquisitions Committee for 2015-16 are: Alex Farquharson, Director, Tate Britain; Martin Herbert, Associate Editor, Art Review; Bedwyr Williams, Artist and Anne Bukantas, Head of Fine Art at National Museums Liverpool. 

Alex Farquharson

Alex Farquharson was recently appointed as Director of Tate Britain.  Prior to this, Alex was Director of Nottingham Contemporary 2007 - 2015, a leading centre for contemporary art. There, exhibitions he has curated or co-curated include: Kafou: Haiti, Art and Vodou; Aquatopia: the Imaginary of the Ocean Deep and Star City: The Future of Communism, and solo exhibitions by David Hockney and Frances Stark, Huang Yong Ping and Wael Shawky, Decolonising Architecture and Thomas Demand, Jack Goldstein and Anne Collier, and Alfred Kubin and Francis Upritchard. He co-curated British Art Show 6. His writings on contemporary art and curating have appeared in various magazines, catalogues and other publications, and he taught on the Curating Contemporary Art MA at Royal College of Art for several years. During the 1990s he was Exhibitions Director at Spacex, Exeter, and Centre for Visual Arts, Cardiff.


Martin Herbert

Martin Herbert is a writer and critic based in Berlin.  His writing appears regularly in magazines and newspapers including Artforum, frieze, Art Monthly and the Daily Telegraph, and he is associate editor of ArtReview. He has written catalogue essays for, among others, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Tate Britain, the Hayward Gallery and the Serpentine Gallery, and is a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art. His monograph on Mark Wallinger was published in 2011 by Thames & Hudson; a book of essays, The Uncertainty Principle, is forthcoming from Sternberg Press.



Bedwyr Williams

Bedwyr Williams (born 1974, St Asaph, Wales, based in Caernarfon) gained his MA at Ateliers Arnhem, NL (1999) and his BA from Central St Martins College of Art and Design (1997). Recent and forthcoming solo shows include Whitworth, Manchester, UK; g39, Cardiff, UK, Vestjyllands Kunstpavillion, DK (all 2015); Tramway, Glasgow, UK for Glasgow International (2014); Representing Wales at the 55th Venice Biennale, IT, (2013), IKON, Birmingham, UK (2012); and Kunstverein Salzburger, Salzburg, AT (2011). Recent group shows have included, IMMA, Dublin, UK, (2014) Ceri Hand, London, UK (2013), Frieze Projects, London, with Grizedale Arts, Liverpool Biennial, UK (2012).



Ann Bukantas

Ann Bukantas (Collection Partnership purchaser 2014 - 2015) has been Head of Fine Art at National Museums Liverpool since 2002, with responsibility for the management of the art collection and the art curators at the Walker Art Gallery, Lady Lever Art Gallery and Sudley House. She also curates some of the modern and contemporary art exhibitions for the Walker and recent projects have included exhibitions by Ben Johnson, Wolfgang Tillmans, John Kirby, Patrick Murphy, Henri Matisse and David Hockney. She was a juror for the John Moores 23 (2004) and John Moores 24 (2006) Painting Prizes, and edits the John Moores exhibition catalogues. She researched and wrote one of National Museums Liverpool’s best-selling publications, ‘Cityscape: Ben Johnson’s Liverpool’ (2008). From 1986-2002 she worked at the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, curating the historic and contemporary collections, and spent a period as joint Acting Head of Hull Museums. She has been involved in several schemes with the Contemporary Art Society to develop the collections at the Ferens and Walker Art Galleries.



Isobel Johnstone - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
Rosalind Nashashibi - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
Caroline Douglas - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
Andrew Dempsey - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
David Batchelor - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
Marjorie Allthorpe-Guyton - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
Andrew Causey - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
Carey Young - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
Guy Brett - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
Richard Cork - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009