The Portrait of Fanny Claus by Manet Finally Acquired by the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford


Edouard Manet (1832-1883)
Portrait of Fanny Claus, 1868
Oil on Canvas - 111 x 70 cm
Oxford, Ashmolean Museum
Photo : Ashmolean Museum

8/8/12 - Acquisition - Oxford, Ashmolean Museum - The information was posted on the Ashmolean Museum website. The British Museum succeeded, thanks to the fundraising drive launched last year (see news item of 26/2/12) but especially the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Art Fund which contributed respectively 5.9 million and 850,000 pounds, in acquiring this masterpiece. The purchase was handled by the London brokerage firm, Robert Holden Ltd. The work, acquired by a foreign collector, had been barred for export from British soil.
In 2013, the painting will be lent to several British museums before returning permanently to the Ashmolean collections in Oxford.

Although the fundraising drive collected a large amount, the purchase was practically secured by the announcement almost three months ago that the HLF had decided to donate 5.9 million pounds, that is most of the money needed. Perhaps this institution, financed thanks to income from the national lottery, took heed of the criticism leveled at it recently, accusing it of not contributing enough to museum acquisitions when this had in fact been its original founding purpose. We should note that the HLF contributed at least 161 million pounds for the organization of the Olympic Games, a sum thus no longer available to British museums. The end of this international competitive event and its ruinous costs will no doubt be a source of comfort for art lovers in England.

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Didier Rykner, mardi 14 août 2012



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