Thursday, October 12, 2006

I believe art has to take responsibility but it should not give up being art!

image credit: Victor Pasmore (1908-1998), Rectangular Motif:Red and Mustard, 1950, oil on canvas, c/r. The Artist's Estate, courtesy of Marlborough Fine Art (London) Ltd, 2005. On display in Soton at public expense. Do you like it?

The German expressionist painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer said, "I believe art has to take responsibility but it should not give up being art."

I doubt he ever met the Lib-Dems who run Southampton City Council!!!!

The Southampton City Art Gallery has a Permanent Collection of over 3,500 works of international reputation. The Collection, which spans six centuries from the Renaissance to the present day, has been 'Designated' by the Government as having special national significance. How astounding then that the collection is not insured. If it wasn't fot the work of Councillor Jeremy Moulton this information would not even be in the public domain. Read about it at

So we have over 3500 works, with a value of over £130million (yes thats more that the total education budget for one year), a tiny fraction of which are on display and they are uninsured. The reason apparently is that the Council says it can't afford to do so. The trouble is this isn't true; it is just a matter of priorities. For example, the Lib-Dem in charge, Steve Sollitt has just agreed to spend an extra £250,000.0 on additional design costs for a new art centre in Guild Hall Square (on the old Tyrell and Green site). Just to be clear, the £250k isn't what the Council is paying for the project. This is simply the latest over-spend!!!


Blogger Matt Dean said...

This is a post I made on Jeremy Moulton's blog;

As a member of the public, I find it unbelievable than a small unitary authority has a portfolio of art worth £130million and that given its potentially perishable nature, that it is uninsured.
Given the assumption that the facts you write are correct, I wonder if
(a) Mr Sollitt is happy to endorse the previous administrations decision not to insure the collection.
(b) There is any legal requirement to insure the collection? Many of the works would have been bequests or purchased with grant aid. I wonder if there are insuring covenants on any works?
(c) Is the council really the best body to run the art gallery/ manage the art collection given the Councillor’s self-acknowledged complete lack of expertise, the recent council overspends in this area and the fact they don’t even insure the works in their custody?

3:25 am  

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