The Foundation has a particular interest in the visual arts, reflecting the interest and expertise of its founder, Nicolai Tangen.  It seeks to develop close relationships with a limited number of partner institutions, primarily in the UK and Norway.

Selected Beneficiaries


AKO Kunststiftelse

AKO Foundation support since 2016

AKO Kunststiftelse is a Norwegian non-profit foundation whose objective is to advance the public’s access to Nordic visual arts from 1900 onwards.  To achieve this objective AKO Kunststiftelse is building a collection of such art for public exhibition; it is intended that SKMU (see below) will have the right to use this collection free of charge and on a perpetual basis, and that the public exhibition of the collection will be in a new museum, the Kunstsilo Museum, in Kristiansand,  southern Norway.  The establishment of this new museum is being undertaken by SKMU in cooperation with the Kristiansand municipal authorities, the Norwegian government and other Norwegian institutions; it is expected to open in 2024. 

British Museum

AKO Foundation support since 2018

The Foundation has supported a number of exhibitions at the British Museum in recent years.  More recently, it has also agreed to support two other initiatives:

  • A strand of what the Museum calls the ‘Rosetta Project’, a comprehensive review of how the permanent collection is displayed, as well as an overhaul of the Museum’s physical infrastructure; and
  • Support over 5 years towards the Museum’s collection of Nordic prints and drawings, through funding a dedicated curatorship, and facilitating acquisitions.

The Courtauld Institute of Art

AKO Foundation support since 2014

The Courtauld Institute of Art is an international centre for the study of the history and conservation of art and is also home to one of the finest small art museums in the world.  Its Institute of Art, a college of the University of London, is the pre-eminent centre for the study of the history of art in Europe.  The Foundation has endowed an academic post for the study of European art of the 20th century, in particular, German Expressionism.  The gift was made by the Foundation in honour of the late Dr Shulamith Behr, Honorary Research Fellow at the Courtauld, who taught Nicolai Tangen during his MA studies there.  More recently, the Foundation has presented an annual AKO Curatorial Prize, open to graduates of the Courtauld’s MA programme.  The AKO Curatorial Prize is the only such prize available to MA graduates in the UK.  The Foundation has also supported exhibitions at the Courtauld.

National Museum, Oslo

AKO Foundation support new in 2022

Following the creation of the National Museum (Nasjonalmuseet) and its relocation to a purpose-built building in Oslo, the Foundation commenced its support for the Museum by acting as principal supporter of a temporary exhibition (‘Fitting In and Standing Out’) of works by the British artist Grayson Perry.

National Portrait Gallery

AKO Foundation support since 2021

The Foundation has agreed to support an exhibition of portraits by Edvard Munch; this will be one of the first exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery following its re-opening after a major refurbishment project.

SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum

AKO Foundation support since 2015

The SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum is a regional art institution, located in Kristiansand, Norway, which, since its formation in 1995, has collected high quality modern and contemporary art and crafts objects from the local area.  SKMU will take over the Kunstsilo Museum upon the expected completion of the latter in 2024.  (See AKO Kunststiftelse above.)  The Foundation has supported SKMU’s preparations for the opening of the Kunstsilo Museum.

AKO Foundation