The Box, Plymouth secures major contemporary art award


The Box, Plymouth has been selected for this year’s Contemporary Art Society’s prestigious Collections Fund Prize.

Founded in 2012, the Collections Fund is one of the highest valued contemporary art awards in the UK and is given to only one member of the Contemporary Art Society each year.

It enables the successful museum or gallery to purchase a significant work of art for their collections at Frieze, a major annual art fair that takes place in London and features more than 160 of the world’s leading galleries.

The Box was selected after a competitive application process open to the Contemporary Art Society’s 70 Museum Members.

Past acquisitions through the Collections Fund have included works by Simon Fujiwara for Leeds Art Gallery (2013); Ben Rivers for Royal Pavilion & Museum, Brighton & Hove, and Bristol Museum & Art Gallery (2014); Hito Steyerl for GoMA, Glasgow (2015); John Akomfrah and Kader Attia for mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (2016) and Dineo Seshee Bopape for Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne (2017).

A key aim of the scheme is to draw together the knowledge, experience and expertise of private collectors with that of museum curators in a programme of research the leads to the acquisition.

Over the next few months members of staff from The Box will work with representatives from the Collections Fund Committee to research and select the work which will be announced at Frieze on Wednesday 3 October.

Deputy Council Leader Peter Smith said: “This prestigious award comes at a watershed moment for us and is a fantastic piece of affirmation for The Box in its role as a contemporary visual arts leader. We are thrilled to have been selected and are looking forward to working with the Contemporary Art Society on an acquisition that will provide the catalyst for a really exciting contemporary art collection for Plymouth and the South West.”

Caroline Douglas, Director, Contemporary Art Society, said: “The Box is a wonderfully ambitious project that will triple the size of the former museum and art gallery building. It is going to be a major player in the region and we are delighted to have the chance to make a landmark new acquisition that will be an exciting part of the reopening displays. Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery has been a member of the Contemporary Art Society for 90 years so we are very proud to be working with them as they embark on a whole new era.”

The Box is holding a consultation session about its ambitious contemporary art plans on Wednesday 18 July. Places are free but booking is essential.