The British Museum
On Wednesday, November 6, the IFPDA Foundation announced the selection of The British Museum as the 2013 recipient of The Richard Hamilton Acquisition Prize. The prize, sponsored by Champion & Partners, the Boston-based global retained executive search firm, provides 10,000 USD for the Museum’s acquisition of one or more prints from any period at the 2013 IFPDA Print Fair held in New York from November 6–10, 2013.
The prize funded the British Museum’s acquisition of Ida Applebroog’s 1985 linocut American Medical Association I and A Performance, 1977–1981, a set of artists’ books self-published by Applebroog. These works, chosen by Stephen Coppel, the Jim Slaughter Curator of the Modern Collection in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, are the first pieces by Applebroog to enter the Museum’s collection. Both were exhibited at Diane Villani Editions, a publisher and dealer in prints by American artists, at the 2013 IFPDA Print Fair which concluded November 10.
About the artist Throughout her long career, Ida Applebroog has been creating beguiling art filled with pointed commentary on gender politics and often ambiguous power struggles. Her simplified human forms with immediately recognizable bold lines are strongly evident in the linocut American Medical Association I. These themes are also evident in A Performance, where Applebroog combined elements of mail art, artists’ books and performance art, all of which were becoming popular at the time. Applebroog called each edition of the pictorial books “performances” and in them she reproduced her simple little paintings of enigmatic figures titled Stagings. She then mailed the books to curators, friends, acquaintances and other artists all over the world.
The Richard Hamilton Acquisition Prize Sponsored by Champion & Partners, the Boston-based global retained executive search firm, the prize provides 10,000 USD for the Museum’s acquisition of one or more prints from any period at the annual IFPDA Print Fair held in New York in November.
Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum states “I am delighted that the prize has been awarded to Stephen Coppel and the British Museum. The Museum holds an extraordinary collection of prints and drawings but we are constantly seeking to acquire and add modern and contemporary works to ensure the collection continues to be representative. I am most grateful to Champion & Partners for allowing us this opportunity to acquire a key work for our modern American prints collection and one which will feature prominently in our forthcoming exhibition.” The Museum is planning a major exhibition of modern American prints from the 1960s to the present, which will open in the autumn of 2016. It is intended as a sequel to The American Scene: Prints from Hopper to Pollock, which attracted an astonishing 415,000 visitors at the British Museum in 2008 and a further 75,000 during its subsequent three-venue UK tour with the support of the Terra Foundation for American Art.
About the British Museum’s Collection of Prints and Drawings The Department of Prints and Drawings contains the national collection of Western prints and drawings. It is one of the top three collections of its kind in the world. There are approximately 50,000 drawings and over two million prints dating from the beginning of the fifteenth century up to the present day.
About the IFPDA Print Fair The Fair is organized annually by the International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA), a vetted organization of expert art dealers. The 2013 prize is the second of three to be awarded each year by the IFPDA Foundation, which oversees the selection process.
About the IFPDA Foundation The IFPDA Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization committed to the support of exhibitions, programs and scholarly projects that increase the awareness and appreciation of fine prints. Applications for the annual Richard Hamilton Acquisition Prize are solicited from museums internationally by the IFPDA Foundation which selects each year’s recipient.