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Assistant curator wins arts award to develop South Asian textile collection

22 Aug 2019

Uthra Rajgopal awarded £38,600 by the Art Fund

Uthra Rajgopal

Seven UK curators have been announced as the winners of the Art Fund New Collecting Awards. Celebrating its fifth year, the programme supports focused projects by curators with the aim of developing museum collections into new areas or expanding existing collections.

Each of the recipients receive a budget for acquisitions, a funding allocation for research, travel and training costs, plus the ongoing support of Art Fund staff, trustees, and a mentor.

Uthra Rajgopal, Assistant Curator (Textiles and Wallpaper) at the Whitworth, is one of the winners. Uthra has been awarded £38,600 to develop the gallery’s collection of South Asian textile artworks by female artists.

Over the past five years, the scheme has awarded over £1.5 million to support 30 UK curators in building museum collections in imaginative and visionary ways. These have included the formation of a fine art collection of LGBT+ culture and history, a collection of work exploring war and the digital, and the acquisition of work by black artists exploring issues of race and diversity.

The New Collecting Awards are made possible by a number of generous individuals and trusts including the Wolfson Foundation, the Ruddock Foundation for the Arts, the Coral Samuel Charitable Trust and the Vivmar Foundation. 

Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund director said: "An important part of being a curator today is drawing out the potential of their museums’ collections and considering how best to develop them in new ways.

"The New Collecting Awards give some of the UK’s rising curatorial stars the opportunity to diversify their institutions’ holdings, bringing benefit to a widening range of audiences and helping our museums to thrive."

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