top of page

“The toolkit that forms part of Framing Social Art in Collections will doubtless become a key resource for museums in to the future, and prove to be an incredibly useful tool in the consideration of how museums can collect and represent socially engaged artworks. As a leading figure in UK-based social practice, Lady Kitt is both incredibly experienced, and extremely well placed, to carry out this project.” 
Alix Collingwood-Swinburn, Curator (Contemporary Art), Durham University, 2021

Framing Social Art in Collections

Lady Kitt 2021-22

ACE funded project researching

how socially engaged art is acquired by, cared for and contextualised in collections. 

Led by Lady Kitt, in collaboration with artists Sarah Li, Sofia Barton and Dan Russell and organisations Arts & Heritage, Durham University Art Collection  and Warwickshire County Records Office

Framing Social Art in Collections is part of Lady Kitt's wider enSHRINE project, exploring socially engaged art practices as catalysts for embodied organisational policy change


The project includes:

  • Development of a digital tool kit aimed at curators, archivists and acquisition teams, considering  how socially engaged / collaboratively made/ participatory work might be acquired by, cared for and contextualised in collections

  • A socially engaged exhibition touring 4 venues in Warwickshire during 2022 

  • Presentation of the draft tool kit at an online symposium, March 14th 2022, 2-5pm

  • Initiation of a Framing Social Art in Collections working group 

For information about attending 1st working group meeting, please contact project producer Sarah Li  

Over the last decade socially engaged art practices have gained increasing visibility and prominence  as part of a distinctive cultural movement which approaches art making as a collective endeavour, intrinsically linked to social  justice and change. For example, all of the nominees for the 2021 Turner Prize were art collectives. "All the nominees work closely and continuously with communities across the breadth of the UK to inspire social change through art." TATE online, 2021


These collaborative, process-led ways of operating offer an exciting and complex set of possibilities and challenges to galleries, museums, collections and curators.


This project uses socially engaged making as a research tool to bring together museum, archive, gallery and collections professionals with socially engaged artists and communities of makers.


The resulting toolkit will be co-authored through:

  • creative activities

  • conversations

  • the curation of a touring exhibition

  • the acquisition (by Durham University Art Collection and WCRO) of a series of art works made as part of socially engaged processes

It will be shared via a number of networks and platforms including Social Art Network and  Arts & Heritage 

bottom of page