On 25 November, Art Fund
director Stephen Deuchar accepted the prestigious Apollo Magazine Award for Acquisition of the Year for the Staffordshire Hoard. He accepted the award on behalf of all partners involved in the £3.3 million campaign, which was led by the Art Fund to save the glittering Anglo-Saxon treasures for the West Midlands.
The huge sum was needed in order for both Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery and Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, to jointly acquire the hoard which was unearthed in a field near Staffordshire in 2009.
Beginning on 13 January, the two museums had until 13 April to raise the sum. Thanks to overwhelming public support, generous donations from trusts and foundations and a major grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the campaign target was reached three weeks ahead of schedule on 24 March 2010.
The Apollo awards event was held at Bonhams in Londons New Bond Street on Thursday 25 November. It was hosted by the magazines editor Oscar Humphries who took his post earlier this year.
The winners were chosen by the editorial team at Apollo and by its editorial board, which includes academics, museum directors, and former Apollo Magazine editors. There are five categories: Personality of the Year, Book of the Year, Exhibition of the Year, Museum Opening of the Year, and Acquisition of the Year.
Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, said I am thrilled to accept this wonderful accolade on behalf of the Staffordshire Hoard partnership, the Art Fund, all our staff, and all of our many members, supporters and donors, without whom we wouldnt have been able to achieve such a success with our campaign. It was rewarding to work so closely with the museums and councils in the West Midlands, to help preserve the extraordinary treasure for the future enjoyment of many. And of course huge thanks to the National Heritage Memorial Fund which have a grant of £1,285,000 and brought us to the campaign total three weeks ahead of schedule. All in all it was a great example of how when different organisations and individuals come together, great things can be achieved.
The winners of the other four categories are as follows:
· Personality of the Year: Sam Keller, Director of the Foundation Beyeler and the former Director of Art Basel
· Book of the Year; French Porcelain in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen by Geoffrey de Bellaigue. Published by Royal Collection Publications.
· Exhibition of the Year: The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600-1700, National Gallery London, National Gallery of Art Washington
· Museum Opening of the Year: Art of The Americas Wing, Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Launched in 1925 as Apollo Magazine is the one of only art magazines to cover both historic and contemporary art. Since 1992, Apollo has been rewarding excellence in the arts every year in its December issue and now does so coinciding the print announcements with an annual awards ceremony.