The winner of the inaugural Ecclesiastical Original Print Award was today announced at the Royal Academy, as The Atkinson, Southport. As the recipient of this £8,000 award, The Atkinson will now be able to make an important addition to their collection and purchase a work from one of the 51 exhibitors at this year’s London Original Print Fair (LOPF).
This new initiative from LOPF Director, Helen Rosslyn and Ecclesiastical Insurance’s Fine Art and Heritage Director, Clare Pardy, provides a bridge between curators of existing collections and the printmakers of today. The Atkinson now have the opportunity to buy an outstanding and compelling original print at the 2016 Fair which runs from 5-8 May at the Royal Academy.
Drawing on their passion for keeping print collecting alive in Britain, Helen Rosslyn and Clare Pardy also devised the prize to raise the profile of original prints. Commenting on the announcement, Clare Pardy said “We are delighted that The Atkinson have won the inaugural award and look forward to hearing what they buy to add to their already impressive collection. Ecclesiastical is a specialist insurer of heritage buildings, private collectors, museums and galleries, and this Award shows our commitment to and belief in the importance of the nation’s collections.”
Chaired by the President of the Royal Academy Christopher Le Brun PRA, the judges chose The Atkinson for their passion for their print collection and commitment to increasing engagement with artists, schools, communities and visitors. The Atkinson plan to acquire a contemporary print which they will show at the centre of a major display.
Christopher Le Brun, PRA commenting on the five shortlisted organisations (The Atkinson, Southport; Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford; the Graves Gallery, Sheffield; Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery and the University of Warwick Art Collection) said: “These five organisations represent a wide geographical spread and remind us that some of our strongest print collections are held in popular venues spread widely across the UK. They deserve to be better known. Speaking as an artist and printmaker myself I am delighted we can reward such exceptional passion and scholarship.”