Modern Museum Fund (Biographical details)

Modern Museum Fund (institution/organisation; British; 2009; active)

Also known as

Modern Museum Fund


The Modern Museum Fund was founded in 2009 to help the British Museum purchase 20th- and 21st-century material. The Fund is largely made up from donations secured by the Museum's Development Department.

Modern and contemporary acquisitions purchased through the Modern Museum Fund are intended to:

1.Document change (and continuity). This is a key concern of the Museum’s modern and contemporary collections.

2 .Throw light on the following areas of human activity: political; religious / spiritual / magical; social; economic; technological; artistic. Speaking very generally, the more areas elucidated by an object, the more desirable it is as an acquisition.

3. Build on the Museum’s strengths by continuing to collect those categories of material culture traditionally collected by the Museum (eg ceramics, metalwork, textiles, works on paper, etc, etc; generally notoil paintings, western furniture, and so on). At the same time the Museum aims to collect new categories of modern objects that have taken on the roles of traditional objects, and also retains an open-minded attitude to other categories of object that help document human activity. Communication with colleagues in other museums and galleries helps guide our practice.

4. Respond to or throw light on the cultures represented in its historical collections. Cross-departmental connections are a key aspect of this, as are antiquities departments’ acquisitions of material from successor and other countries.

5. Be targeted towards specific public outcomes, particularly exhibitions and publications, and specific BM audiences; and be available for the website (copyright therefore necessary).