News item from 2012


Manet Countdown: One Week To Save Manetís Portrait of Fanny Claus

The Ashmolean Museum has reached the final week of its major campaign to save Edouard Manet’s Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus for the public. Since the campaign started in February 2012, the Ashmolean has raised 93% of the total £7.83million required to purchase the picture. £530,000 remains to be found before the temporary export bar on the painting is lifted on 7 August - after which it will be sold abroad to a foreign buyer.

In recognition of the picture’s extraordinary importance, the Ashmolean has received lead support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with a grant of £5.9million, an award of £750,000 from The Art Fund and gifts from hundreds of individual donors, amounting to £7.235million. The Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus has been sold for £28.35 million but, under a private treaty sale, with tax remission, it can be purchased by an approved UK public collection at just 25% of its market value.

On Thursday 12 July members of the public are invited to join the Director of the Ashmolean, Dr Christopher Brown, along with Museum supporters and staff to do the Manet Walk. The walk will follow the new Manet trail, an outdoor display featuring 10 framed replicas of the portrait at 10 sites across Oxford’s city centre. Starting at 12 noon from the Ashmolean’s forecourt, the Director will lead the way to the sites on Broad Street and New Inn Hall Street to St Aldates and the High Street.

“This is a race against time. We only have four weeks to raise the final amount and we need the public’s support. This picture is one of the most important Impressionist works in the UK and we must seize this opportunity to keep it in the country in a free public museum. If acquired by the Ashmolean, it will transform the Museum, and indeed Oxford, into a leading centre for the study of Impressionism and 19th-century French painting. The portrait will go on display where it can be seen by more than a million people a year; and it will tour the country to London and regional museums so that as many people as possible can learn about Manet – one of the greatest artists of any period in the history of art. Join me on the Manet Walk and find out more about this truly great picture”, said Dr Christopher Brown, Director of the Ashmolean Museum.


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