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07/12/2018
City art gallery in running for fun national vote

Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for art, has launched its annual poll to name the nation’s favourite acquisition of the year - and once again a piece in Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s collection is in the running.

Earth by Yinka Shonibare was acquired by Wolverhampton in March 2018 thanks to generous support from Art Fund, V&A Purchase Grant Fund, Contemporary Art Society and the Friends of Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Museums.

The striking sculpture, featuring Shonibare’s trademark ‘African’ batik fabrics, is currently on display at the Lichfield Street venue as part of an exhibition highlighting the gallery’s contemporary collections and recent acquisitions.


Councillor John Reynolds, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, said

“The gallery has always been at the cutting edge of contemporary art, including the incredible range of Pop Art acquired since the 1960s. It’s fantastic that the city continues to be recognised by such a high-profile charity for its new acquisitions.

“The fact that the public can get involved and vote for their favourite is an extra bit of fun and Art Fund’s generous prize only adds to that.”


Voters are invited to choose from a shortlist of ten works of art that Art Fund helped UK museums and galleries to buy in 2018:

  • Kehinde Wiley, Ship of Fools (2017), Royal Museums Greenwich
  • Unknown maker, Anglo-Saxon pendant (650-700), Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery
  • Leonora Carrington, Portrait of Max Ernst (c1939), National Galleries of Scotland
  • Lubaina Himid, Toussaint L’Ouverture (1987), Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima)
  • Grayson Perry, Posh Art (1992), Victoria Art Gallery
  • Eric Ravilious, Beachy Head (1939), Towner Art Gallery
  • Unknown artist, Am Not I a Man and a Brother (c1800), International Slavery Museum
  • Artemisia Gentileschi, Self-Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria (c1616), National Gallery
  • John Bellany, The Boatbuilders (1962), Scottish Maritime Museum
  • Yinka Shonibare MBE, Earth (2010), Wolverhampton Art Gallery


The poll is now open and runs until Saturday, December 15. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 18. All those who vote will be entered into a free prize draw, with the chance of winning a lifetime National Art Pass worth £1,850. Anyone is eligible to vote in the poll which can be accessed here: https://www.artfund.org/worfof2018

The shortlisted works encompass painting, sculpture and treasure. Their combined value is £5.2m. All of these works of art and objects joined public collections in the past year, and Art Fund contributed over £800,000 towards their acquisition, including the cost on conserving Artemisia Gentileschi’s Self-Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria.

Previous winners of Art Fund Work of the Year include: Sir Edwin Landseer, The Monarch of the Glen (c.1851), National Galleries Scotland (2017) and Unknown artist, The Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I (1588), Royal Museums Greenwich (2016).

Wolverhampton Art Gallery piece, Spirit of the Carnival by Tam Joseph was shortlisted for the 2016 award and ultimately finishing fourth in the public vote.


Issued by the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Corporate Communications Team. For more information, please call 01902 555439.

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