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Five UK Museums Win Share of 75,000 Pound Prize for Contemporary Craft
Andrew Renton, curator of National Museum Wales with Red Stripe by Rachael Woodman. © Mark Crick.

LONDON.- Independent charity The Art Fund and the Crafts Council today announced the winners of Art Fund Collect, a £75,000 award for curators to acquire a piece of contemporary craft for their museum or gallery.

Art Fund Collect took place yesterday, 14 May, the preview day of the Crafts Council's international fair Collect, held at London's Saatchi Gallery.

The winners are: Aberdeen Art Gallery; Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales; Bilston Craft Gallery, Wolverhampton; mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and the V&A.

Aberdeen Art Gallery selected Neckpiece, 2009 by Umbria-based British jeweller Jacqueline Ryan for £26,550. Made from 18-carat gold, enamel and garnet, the piece displays the artist's interest in natural formations.

Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales selected Red Stripe, 2008 by British glassmaker Rachael Woodman for £6,500. Dramatic in its use of colour, the work consists of eight glass tubes on a slate base.

Bilston Craft Gallery selected Propagation Project; Lichen Petals, 2009 by Japanese designer Junko Mori for £8,500. This highly dramatic, naturalistic work imitates the formation of lichen and is made from hand-forged steel.

mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art selected Bracelet, 1999 by Italian goldsmith Giovanni Corvaja for £29,000. The piece is made from 18 carat gold and 22 carat gold wire and juxtaposes intricate detail with bold geometric shapes.

The V&A selected Free Essence-6, 2009 by Japanese glassmaker Niyoko Ikuta for £5,700. This twisted, spiralling object consists of thin sheets of plate glass layered to trap the light.

In a nail-biting race around Collect, ten shortlisted curators from around the UK had just one hour to select a new object for their museum or gallery.

An expert panel then selected the winning curators, awarding them a share of £75,000 to acquire their object outright. mima wins for the second time this year.

Andrew Macdonald, Deputy Director of The Art Fund, said: "These five museums have each come away with a beautiful and inspiring object representing the very best in contemporary craft. Art Fund Collect is proving to be a wonderful way for curators to be bold and select outstanding works ahead of private buyers, for the public to enjoy."

Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director, Crafts Council, said: "I extend my congratulations to the winning museums and galleries. The Crafts Council aims to make the UK the best place to make, see and collect contemporary craft, and Art Fund Collect is central to achieving all these objectives, supporting makers, public collections and opportunities for visitors to see the very best craft."

Now in its second year, Art Fund Collect was set up in 2008 by The Art Fund, the UK's leading independent art charity and the Crafts Council, the national development agency for contemporary craft, to encourage museums and galleries around the country to acquire the best in international contemporary craft. Due to the success of last year's Art Fund Collect, The Art Fund increased the prize from £50,000 to £75,000 this year.

A total of 23 applications were received for Art Fund Collect in February 2009. The final shortlist of ten was announced in April.

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