The Acquisitions Committee

Recommendations on purchasing works of art that reflect artistic practice in Britain today are made by a changing group of external advisors to the Arts Council Collection Acquisitions Committee. 

Acquisitions are made through a committee of eight individuals. The internal members of the Acquisitions Committee are Deborah Smith, Director, Arts Council Collection, with Ralph Rugoff (Director, Hayward Gallery), and Peter Heslip (Director, Visual Arts, Arts Council England). Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England, acts as Chair to the Committee.

The external advisers to the Acquisitions Committee usually include an artist, a writer, and a curator, and are appointed for a fixed two-year tenure. There is also an external advisor from one of the Arts Council Collection’s partner galleries; this position is for one year only.

The external advisers to the Acquisitions Committee for 2021-22 are: Simeon Barclay, artist, Marie-Anne McQuay, Head of Programme at the Bluecoat in Liverpool, Harriet Cooper, visual arts curator, and Vanessa Peterson, writer and editor (Associate Editor at frieze magazine)


Latest Acquisitions

See the latest works acquired by the Collection.
How We Work

Find out more about our acquisitions process

The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.