How Your Museum Could Benefit from the Cultural Gifts and Acceptance in Lieu Schemes

How Your Museum Could Benefit from the Cultural Gifts and Acceptance in Lieu Schemes
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  • Posted by: Castleacre

The Bowes Museum in County Durham will host the Museums Seminar – ‘Acquire and Inspire’ in 2017.

Citing their own experiences, museum and arts professionals, including the Chairman of the Acceptance in Lieu panel, Edward Harley, will explain how your museum could benefit from the Cultural Gifts and Acceptance in Lieu Schemes. We will explore how panel decisions are made, look at the legal process, the donor’s experience and the long and short-term advantages of introducing a pre-eminent work of art into your collection.

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Picture Courtesy of the Bowes Museum Olivia Porter by Sir Anthony Van Dyke (1599 – 1641)

In 2015 this striking portrait of Olivia Porter, was donated to the Bowes Museum, County Durham, by the Duke of Northumberland’s estate, using the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme. The painting was received in lieu of £2.8 million in Inheritance Tax and has been a hugely important addition to the museum’s collection; painted by Olivia’s husband’s close friend – the great Flemish portrait artist, Sir Anthony Van Dyck, the picture has joined another Van Dyck portrait of Olivia in the Bowes, which was recently discovered by the art historian, Dr Bendor Grosvenor. Both paintings provided the perfect platform for the Bowes Museum successful exhibition exploring the changing face of beauty in art – ‘The English Rose – Feminine Beauty from Van Dyck to Sargent’

Both the AIL and Cultural Gift Schemes provide a rare opportunity for museums and galleries, large and small, to acquire exceptional work for their collections. Edward Harley, Chairman of the Acceptance in in Lieu Panel and Headline Speaker at the ‘Acquire and Inspire’ Museums Seminar has said that the two schemes are – ‘underpinned by tax incentives that make the transfer of these works into public collections beneficial for their owners, as well as being a mechanism through which museums and galleries can acquire significant works at no cost.’

Many museums across the country have benefited from the schemes, in particular the AIL scheme, which has been running for a longer period, and Edward Harley argues that the acquisition of a pre-eminent work of art can raise an organisation’s profile, inspire the curatorial team to reassess their collection as a whole, and gives the museum an opportunity to take a fresh and creative approach to exhibitions and public engagement.

Other speakers at this year’s seminar include
Sir Mark Wrightson – Chairman of the Bowes Museum
Dr Jane Whittaker – Curator of the Bowes Museum
Anastasia Tennant – Policy Advisor The Arts Council England


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