Welcome to NMDC’s monthly news update...
In this issue:
- DCMS cuts £73m funding from capital projects
- Budget outlines 25% cuts from departmental spending
- HLF invests £17m in 808 training placements
- Ulster Museum wins £100,000 Art Fund Prize
- Culture Secretary's £1bn plans to promote tourism in 2012
- US museums report record visitor figures and membership
and much more…
Kate Bellamy, Head of Strategy and Communications, will be leaving NMDC on 9 July to take up a new post as Head of International Strategy at the V&A. Amongst her many achievements during her three years at NMDC, Kate has led the Cultural Capital advocacy campaign and co-edited Learning to Live, NMDC's publication on museums, young people and education. NMDC is now recruiting for a new Head of Strategy and Delivery (see Job Opportunities below). Suzie Tucker will be the Acting Head of Strategy and Delivery, pending appointment of Kate’s successor.
Emily Candler, NMDC Newsletter Editor, has been appointed Senior Associate: Programmes and Services at the National Portrait Gallery, a Cultural Leadership Programme Peach Placement from July 2010 - March 2011. NMDC is seeking a new Editor for this newsletter and details will be available shortly
Ahead of the Budget announcement, the Government announced on 17 June the cancellation of nearly £2 billion of projects approved since 1 January 2010. Within this, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced that it was withdrawing £73 million from the following cultural projects:
- Stonehenge visitor centre – £17 million;
- BFI Film Centre – £45 million;
- Libraries modernisation work suspended – £2 million (per annum). Plans to extend the Public Lending Right to non-print format books have also been suspended and will be considered as part of Spending Review in the autumn;
- Find Your Talent – Pilot programme providing five hours of culture and sport a week for young people – c £2 million;
- A Night Less Ordinary – free theatre tickets scheme for young people – c £0.1million;
- BFI archive digital access sub-project – £2.5 million. Other strands of the BFI’s Screen Heritage UK programme will continue, including the £16.3 million funding to secure the national film collection.
- Free Swimming Programme for under 16s and over 60s – £5 million from DCMS (as part of a total saving of £40 million funding across Government).
The Budget announced on 22 June set out plans for cuts of an additional £30 billion per year in public sector spending by 2014-15, on top of cuts announced by the previous Government in the March 2010 Budget. This means public expenditure will be £83bn a year lower by 2014-15 (compared with departmental expenditure remaining constant in real terms).
The Budget announced:
- With funding safe-guarded for health and overseas aid, other departments “could see average real cuts to their budgets of around 25 per cent over the four years”;
- No further reductions in capital spending totals in this Budget, but a need to be make "careful choices about how that capital is spent. The absolute priority will be projects with a significant economic return to the country";
- A Spending Review to be published on 20 October, which will set out plans for the four year period 2011/12 to 2014/15. The final split between AME (Annually Managed Expenditure) and DEL (Departmental Expenditure Limit) will be decided at the Spending Review, and any further AME savings will reduce the size of cuts to departmental budgets;
- A two year pay freeze for public sector workforces from 2011/12, except for those earning £21,000 or less who will receive an increase of at least £250 in these years;
- The appointment of Will Hutton to draw up plans for fairer pay in the public sector, and John Hutton, formerly Labour Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to investigate public sector pensions, producing an interim report in time for the Spending Review and a full report for next year's Budget;
- The Government will replace the current rules on substantial charity donors and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will consult informally on draft clauses in the summer, with a view to publishing final legislation in the autumn.
- The Budget included no changes to Gift Aid but said the “The Government will continue to explore with voluntary sector representatives ways to improve the Gift Aid system and encourage charitable giving.”
Media reports over the weekend of 3/4 July suggested that Departments had been asked to prepare plans for cuts of up to 40%. HM Treasury Budget Documents
HM Treasury has also published a document setting out the general approach the Spending Review will take. Spending Review Framework
Arts Council England will use reserves to meet budget deficit
Arts Council England provided details on 18 June of how it will implement the £19m cuts to its 2010-11 budget as announced by the Government on 24 May, essentially through releasing the historic reserves:
"Arts Council England’s historic reserves stood at £18.4 million. DCMS has freed £16 million. The balance of £2.4 million remains blocked from use. Of the £16 million freed, £9 million is to be used to mitigate the in-year cuts, and £7 million will be returned to the Department. It has been agreed that £5 million of that £7 million will be returned to the Arts Council’s baseline funding for 2011/12."
The rest of the savings will come from:
- £1.8m from revenue grants to regularly funded organisations (0.5% reduction);
- £1.8m from a 4% reduction in revenue grants of the two highest funded organisations not directly producing art (£1.6m from Creativity Culture and Education (CCE) and £200k from Arts & Business);
- £400k from further cuts to the Arts Council’s operating costs (bringing savings on operating costs to a total of £6.9m this year); and
- £6m from postponement of a major public engagement project, cuts to audience development plans, and cuts to funds for partnership working with local authorities and the private sector.
MUSEUM SECTOR NEWS
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced an investment of £17 million – treble the amount it originally set aside – in 54 projects under its Skills for the Future programme. This money will deliver 808 work-based training placements for people across the UK, lasting up to 18 months. The programme will not only support traditional conservation training but also a wide variety of more contemporary skills, such as managing volunteers and using social media to get people involved in heritage. Skills for the Future is complementary to HLF’s existing £10m Training Bursary Programme which has been running for the last four years. The projects include:
- £510,200 for Training the Curator, a project by the British Museum and five key national/regional partners creating 15 trainee placements;
- 12 posts managed by the Ashmolean Museum in partnership with 4 other Oxford museums;
- 20 trainee posts managed by Museums Galleries Scotland;
- 26 trainees managed by the National Archives focusing on community engagement, digital preservation and online user engagement, as well as traditional preservation and interpretation;
- 30 trainees at National Museum Wales, training in heritage horticultural skills; and
- 24 trainees at Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums.
The projects are currently in development and training opportunities will be publicised in the autumn. Placements will start towards the end of 2010/beginning of 2011. Heritage Lottery Fund
The Ulster Museum, Belfast is the 2010 winner of The Art Fund Prize for Museums and Galleries. The Museum, part of National Museums Northern Ireland, was awarded the £100,000 Prize in recognition of Opening Up the Ulster Museum, a three year, £17.8m redevelopment project. Praised by the judges for its “all-round excellence”, the museum beat three other short-listed institutions, The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; Blists Hill Victorian Town, Ironbridge and The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry.
The Prize, sponsored by the Art Fund, is annually awarded to the museum or gallery for a project completed in the last year that the Judges deem demonstrates the most originality, imagination and excellence. Art Fund Prize
Saatchi announces plans to donate 200 works and create MOCA London
Charles Saatchi has announced that he intends to give his gallery and more than 200 works from his collection to the nation. He has said that the Saatchi Gallery in London will be renamed MOCA London (Museum of Contemporary Art, London) when he retires, and would feature "a strong, rotating permanent collection of major installations", all of it free to the public. BBC News reported that the gallery's management are in talks with the government to find a department "which would own the works on behalf of the nation". A spokesperson for the Gallery said: “All costs associated with the storage, restoration or cataloguing of the collection will be borne by the museum". The Guardian reported that staff and other costs will be paid for by the gallery's sources of income, which include private sponsorship, the restaurant and shop and by hosting company events. The New York Times reported that the Gallery's statement said Mr. Saatchi would receive no tax benefits from the gift.
The Tate issued a statement saying it “welcomes the news that the national collection of contemporary art promises to be enhanced in this way. We look forward to contributing to discussions about how the collection will be used by the nation in the long term.” BBC News Guardian New York Times
A Museum Strategy for Wales 2010-15
Welsh museums are being urged to look at innovative ways of sharing resources and attracting new, younger audiences. Launching Wales’s first ever museum strategy, Minister for Heritage, Alun Ffred Jones AM, said that museums would have to be smart and innovative to ensure they continue to play an important role in Welsh life during difficult economic times.
The five-year strategy asks museums to look at new ways of encouraging more volunteers to get involved, contributing to cultural tourism, helping to develop the Welsh language, sharing exhibits, and attracting more young people and ethnic minorities. The strategy identifies three key principles for museums:
- Museums for everyone – Museums will contribute to living communities, promote the values of a fair and just society and provide lifelong learning opportunities for all.
- A collection for the nation – Museums will hold, care for and continue to develop collections for the nation which represent our rich and diverse culture.
- Working effectively – Museums will manage their sites, operations, collections and people effectively to continue providing services for citizens that are relevant, robust and sustainable.
A Museum Strategy for Wales 2010-15
Consultation on a museum policy for Northern Ireland
Culture Minister Nelson McCausland has launched a consultation on a museums policy for Northern Ireland. The consultation meets a commitment made by the Minister to the Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee’s Inquiry into the need to have a museums policy for Northern Ireland.
There are five interdependent strategic priorities:
- Developing audiences;
- Education and Learning;
- Collections Development, Care, Management and Use;
- Infrastructure, Investment and Resources;
- Cultural Rights.
The aims of the draft policy include ensuring museums are seen as safe places in which to explore and participate in diverse types of community activity, and museums have make a significant contribution to good community relations in Northern Ireland. The consultation runs until 24 August. Consultation document
22% of people in Northern Ireland have visited National Museums
Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) in Northern Ireland has published new data on museums, arts and libraries attendance from the Continuous Household Survey conducted in 2008/9. Findings included:
- 26% of respondents reported having visited a museum in the past 12 months; and 22% of all respondents reported having visited one or more of the five museums under the remit of National Museums Northern Ireland in the last 12 months.
- 84% of respondents who visited a museum during the past 12 months were satisfied with museum's provision.
- 63% of all respondents were satisfied with museum provision.
- Attendance was highest among 35-44 age group (36%) and lowest for those aged 16-24 (21%) DCALNI research
Measuring the social contribution of museums
The MLA has launched new case studies, guidance and tools to support museums, libraries and archives in planning how they deliver their services and in measuring their contribution to social outcomes. The new materials are based on first-hand experiences of organisations using the framework, and include a step-by-step approach to using the guidance. Other tools include sample questionnaires to help gather evidence of impact on users, and case studies illustrating how organisations have successfully used the GSO framework to plan their delivery, assess their contribution to outcomes and advocate for their service. The Generic Social Outcomes Framework (GSO) has been widely used by organisations including Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums and Museums Sheffield to capture the contribution museums, libraries and archives can make to their communities and wider society. MLA Inspiring Learning for All website
Museums Association launches online advocacy resources
The Museums Association has launched a range of free online resources to support museums and galleries in their advocacy efforts. The resources are part of the …Love Museums project, designed to help museums “win friends and influence people” by better communicating what they do. Documents on the site already include 'Tourists…Love Museums' with facts that demonstrate the value of museums to tourism, and more resources will be unveiled between now and the end of August including fact sheets on communities, visitors and the economy. Museums Association
Remembering Scotland At War online museum uses social networking
Museums Galleries Scotland has launched Remembering Scotland At War, an online museum with a social networking area particularly aimed at ‘capturing memories'. The culmination of a 3 year project funded by the Big Lottery Fund, Remembering Scotland At War features over 200 exhibitions, interviews, photographs and footage spanning from the Second World War to more recent conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan. Museums Galleries Scotland worked with 13 museums and galleries across Scotland to produce the exhibitions. Remembering Scotland At War
Minister commissions new research before discussions on status of Wallace letter
Scotland's Culture Minister, Fiona Hyslop MSP, has asked the Keeper of the National Archives of Scotland to assemble a group of experts to examine a 700 year old letter widely believed to have been in the possession of Sir William Wallace. The medieval history experts - from Scotland, England and France - will investigate the 700 year old document, held at the National Archives in London, and produce a report to Scottish and UK Government Ministers that will then allow discussions on the status of the document. Launching the research, Ms Hyslop said "there has always been tremendous interest in this letter and repeated claims that it should rightfully reside in Scotland's National Archives". The group will report to UK and Scottish Ministers in Spring 2011. Scottish Government statement
Minister joins metal detectorists
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP joined the Oxford Blues Metal Detecting Club for his first metal detecting experience on 11 June. The Minister unearthed a two pence piece from 1971. More
Using museums to interpret Brazil’s intangible heritage
The Museum of London is hosting an HSBC Living Cultures seminar on 22 July, bringing together leading museum directors from Brazil and UK museum professionals to look at how museums can best harness intangible heritage to stimulate a greater understanding of contemporary identities and cultures. The outcomes of this seminar will inform the development of a new museum project in Brazil, which will open in time for the Rio Olympics of 2016. For more information and to secure a place please contact Jude Phillips at email@example.com.
Museums and universities working together
The V&A hosted Learning at the Interface on 1-2 July, a conference looking at how museums and universities can work together purposefully to enhance the learning of higher education students. Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP gave a keynote speech. Detailed case studies describing collaboration between museums and universities have been published online. More
CULTURAL SECTOR NEWS
Culture Forum launched to lead dialogue on funding
Arts and Business and the National Campaign for the Arts (NCA) are creating a “Culture Forum” of leading figures from the UK’s cultural sector to help formulate plans to re-energise cultural funding from the private sector. Members of the forum will be elected this week by Arts and Business and NCA members. The Culture Forum will meet three times before this autumn’s Spending Review and produce three reports for Ministers. Its tasks will include:
- Growing the contribution from the private sector to invest in the cultural sector;
- Feedback on the impact and effects of cuts to the arts sector;
- Idea generation for innovative funding models, efficiencies and ways for the cultural sector to work with the private sector; and
- “Fine-tuning” Arts & Business’ private sector policy for the arts to increase cultural philanthropy. Arts and Business
In his first keynote speech on tourism policy, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP said it was a top Government priority to produce "the best marketing plan that any country has ever had" around the London 2012 Olympics. Mr Hunt said that the tourism sector “is increasingly vital to the future of this country as we set out to rebalance our economy” and “could be the fourth fastest growing sector over the next ten years, indirectly and directly supporting a total of nearly 3 million jobs by 2020.” However, he also expressed concern that “although overseas visitors spent more here last year than in 2008, the actual number of visitors fell by over 2 million, and VisitBritain is forecasting a further decline of 0.7% for this year.”
Mr Hunt pledged to:
- Create a new fund that will generate £1 billion worth of PR and marketing activity in 20 priority markets in the years around 2012;
- Harness the full potential of 2012 to create a permanent tourism legacy for the whole country, creating a sustained and sustainable increase in the number of tourists visiting the UK;
- Set the industry a new goal: to increase the domestic tourism spend by UK residents to 50% of the total; and
- Review the web of quangos that affect tourism, aiming to simplify and focus support for the tourism industry, which is worth around £90 billion to the economy.
DCMS will work with private sector partners both to build up the PR and marketing fund and work out the most cost effective way to spend it. Detailed plans of how this fund will work will be published by the end of September. Jeremy Hunt's speech
Cultural Metropolis: Draft cultural strategy for London
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has published Cultural Metropolis: The Mayor’s Draft Cultural Strategy: 2012 and Beyond. The strategy highlights concerns and priorities for action around a wide range of issues such as private and public funding, international promotion, education and training, improving access and participation, supporting festivals and public art, and planning and cultural infrastructure. The Mayor does not have a single delivery agency for culture and nor is the GLA a major direct funder of culture, but the 200+ page strategy outlines numerous proposals that the Mayor will either lead, be a partner in, or promote, including:
- Making the case for investment in London's cultural sector - the Mayor will publicly make the case for investment in culture at a number of high-profile events;
- Supporting capital projects that will contribute to the capital’s cultural, social and economic life through planning policies, advocacy and direct investment - including the Tate Modern extension;
- Working with regional cultural agencies to improve the sector’s understanding of, and responsiveness to, new technological, environmental and economic challenges;
- Introducing a Londoners Card pilot scheme, to enable more Londoners to access services and provision, including culture and leisure.
The consultation on the draft cultural strategy runs until 6 September. Cultural Metropolis
The Culture Diary – London 2012
The Mayor of London has also announced plans for The Culture Diary, intended to be the definitive guide to cultural activity in the capital throughout the whole of 2012, listing all artistic and cultural activities/events, of all scales, across all cultural sectors. Organisations need to upload information by the end of this year. The Culture Diary
The City of London, covering the Square Mile, also published its cultural strategy for 2010-14 on 17 June. The City spends over £80 million every year on its cultural and leisure services. City of London
Danny Boyle to direct London 2012 opening ceremony
Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle has been appointed to direct the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games, to be held on 27 July 2012. He will work with four British executive producers who will work across all four opening and closing ceremonies:
- Stephen Daldry, theatre and film director;
- Mark Fisher, who creates live entertainment and music concerts and was involved in the design of the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing;
- Hamish Hamilton, a British TV producer, music video and award show director; and
- Catherine Ugwu, Creative Director, producer of ceremonies, shows and festivals, who worked on the ceremonies at the Vancouver Winter Olympics and the Manchester Commonwealth Games.
An Artistic Director for the Olympic closing ceremony and one for the Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies will be appointed later this year. DCMS statement
Creative Scotland is officially launched
Creative Scotland, the new national development body for the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland, was launched on 1 July. Creative Scotland took over the functions and resources of Scottish Screen and the Scottish Arts Council, but also has a wider set of responsibilities for developing the sector. The Chief Executive is Andrew Dixon, and he has just appointed three new Directors of Creative Development: Venu Dhupa, Iain Munro and Caroline Parkinson.
Last month, Scotland’s Minister for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop MSP announced the appointment of Sir Sandy Crombie as the first Chair of Creative Scotland. He is former Chief Executive of Standard Life and currently Senior Independent Director of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc. The other Board members are Robin MacPherson, Gwilym Gibbons, Gary West, Ruth Wishart, Steve Grimmond, Barclay Price, Gayle McPherson and Peter Cabrelli.
BBC plans more collaboration with arts institutions
The Art Newspaper has an interview with Mark Bell, BBC's commissioning editor for arts, on collaborations with cultural organisations. He said “The BBC is going to have to work exceedingly hard to help arts institutions out in the future,” he said. “One of the things we have to do is partner with them, to work constructively with them [as] the impact [of public spending cuts] may be tough. The institutions are aware of that and we need to do what we can to expose them to audiences in whatever way we can.” The Art Newspaper
New support programme for libraries
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP has launched a new, expert support programme led by the Museums Libraries and Archive Council (MLA) and the Local Government Association Group (LGA Group) to support local authorities in rethinking how they deliver their library services. Speaking at the Remodelling Libraries Conference on 1 July, the Minister urged local authorities to consider radical options for delivering library services including: including shared services, merging functions, staffing across authorities, support from volunteers or the use of other community buildings.
The programme will initially undertake intensive, proactive work with around ten library authorities, and learning from the projects will then be shared throughout the wider public library network. The statutory Advisory Council for Libraries will be wound down via the Public Bodies Bill. MLA statement
Impacts of 2009 Smithsonian Folklife Festival for Wales
One year on, the Welsh Assembly Government has published a summary of the impact of Wales Smithsonian Cymru, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2009, which focused on Wales. The Festival, annual international exposition of living cultural heritage, takes place over two weeks every summer at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC, and draws more than one million visitors. Last year’s Welsh-themed event involved a trade mission of 80 companie, organised by the Welsh Assembly Government, resulting in business worth £14 million. The National Museum Wales's touring exhibition Turner to Cezanne, which was first developed through early discussions around planning for the Wales Smithsonian Cymru, reached over 56 million people and generated media coverage worth $4.5 million. Over 160,000 people visited the exhibition in its first three venues. Welsh Assembly Government
Merger of BFI and Film Council cancelled
Plans to merge the UK Film Council and the British Film Institute into a singe body have been scrapped. The proposal was first announced in August 2009. In response to a Parliamentary Question from Shadow Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw MP on 21 June, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP confirmed that there are no current plans to merge the two organisations. He said that he was, however, "planning to reassess fundamentally how the Government support film in this country." Hansard
A new report commissioned by the UK Film Council states that the UK film industry contributes over £4.5 billion a year to UK GDP and more than £1.2 billion to the Exchequer. More
Tate and British Museum extension projects
In response to a Parliamentary Question from Ben Bradshaw MP about the funding and timetable for proposals to build extensions to Tate Modern and the British Museum, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP said: "The Government provided £28.707 million towards the extension to Tate Modern and £10.68 million towards the British Museum's World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre in the years 2008-10. I have taken no decisions to change the level at which these projects are funded or the timetable to which they should be completed. Decisions for future years will be a matter for the forthcoming spending review." Hansard, 28 June
Reduction in Grant-in-Aid 2010-11
In response to a Parliamentary Question from Ben Bradshaw MP, the DCMS has published figures showing how the grant-in-aid allocated to each of its sponsored bodies will be reduced in the current financial year. The chart gives figures for grant-in-aid outturn, including depreciation, for each year from 2007-2011. In his answer, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP explains that due to changes made as part of the Alignment Project, figures for 2010-11 are prepared on a different basis and are therefore not directly comparable with previous years. Hansard, 30 June
Ulster Museum displays
Twenty-six MPs have signed an Early Day Motion saying they regret "that there is pressure to include creationism in the proposed exhibition of evolution and diversity" at the Ulster Museum. The signatories, all representing constituencies outside Northern Ireland, include 14 Labour MPs and 9 Liberal Democrats. Media reports last month revealed correspondence between Northern Ireland Culture Minister, Nelson McCausland AM, and the Trustees of National Museums Northern Ireland on the lack of representation of Creationist views in the museum’s displays. In the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mr McCausland condemned the leaking of correspondence to the press which he said was the work of “some malign individual”. Early Day Motion Northern Ireland Assembly debate
Lords highlight importance of museums
During the debates on the Queen's Speech, several Peers highlighted the importance of museums. Former Heritage Minister Lord Inglewood said it is "important to recognise that our museums and - particularly, but not exclusively - our national collections in London are enormous generators of public revenue. How we as a society respond to the cuts and the way in which the Government impose them must recognise that." He continued: "On our national collections, we must take the long view and concentrate on ensuring that when again we reach the sunny uplands of economic prosperity we do not find that we have debased our inheritance and relegated ourselves to the second division. Acquisition and maintenance are the two long keys to sustainable excellence." Hansard, 3 June
Free admission to national museums
In his maiden speech as Member of Parliament for Stoke on Trent, the historian Tristram Hunt said he “will be watching closely” the new Government's commitment to free admission to national museums. He praised his predecessor in that Parliamentary seat, Mark Fisher, who as Minister for the Arts was part of the team that worked on free admission policy. Extolling the historic significance of his constituency, Mr Hunt also quoted Neil MacGregor in A History of the World in 100 Objects saying that "human history is told and written in pots...more than in anything else." More
During Oral Questions in the House of Commons on 21 June, Mr Hunt also raised the plight of the Wedgwood Museum in his constituency, which is threatened with dispersal of its collection as a result of Pension Protection Fund legislation. Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey MP, said "this is an important issue which we are watching very closely, and I should be delighted to meet him to discuss it." More
New Members of Parliament have been praising their local museums in their maiden speeches: Matthew Offord MP listed the Royal Air Force Museum and British Library Newspaper depositary among the attractions of his Hendon constituency, John Stevenson MP mentioned Tullie House Museum in his Carlisle constituency and Brandon Lewis MP commended the museum in his Great Yarmouth constituency.
Members of the Scottish Parliament had a debate on tourism policy on 24 June. More
APPOINTMENTS & HONOURS
Ann Green, Chair of the Royal Armouries, was made CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List on 12 June. Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund and former Director of Tate Britain was also awarded a CBE. Alec Coles, Director of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums until earlier this year, was made OBE for services to museums.
Chris Dercon has been named as the new Director of Tate Modern, replacing Vincente Todoli who has held the post for seven years. Chris Dercon has been Director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich since 2003 and has taken a leading role in the development and direction of major international cultural institutions for over twenty years. He will take up the post at Tate Modern in spring 2011. More
The Prime Minister has appointed Douglas Gurr as Chairman of the National Museum of Science and Industry. He is Executive Development Director at Asda and a main Board Director of Asda Group Limited, has previously been a partner at the management consultancy McKinsey & Company, and was Founder and Chief Executive of Blueheath, an internet-enabled stockless wholesaler. His educational background is in mathematics and he has a PhD in Theoretical Computer Science. More
Welsh Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones AM has announced the re-appointment of Gareth Williams to the Board of Trustees of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales. More
Vernon Rapley has become head of security and visitor services at the V&A. He was previously Detective Sergeant heading Scotland Yard’s art and antiques unit. The Art Newspaper reports that Sue Ridley, who has held the V&A’s security and visitor services post, is moving to become director of collection services. Vernon Rapley’s successor at Scotland Yard has not yet been appointed. More
The journalist and broadcaster Kate Adie has taken up the role of Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts, replacing Joan Bakewell, who has retired after six years in the post. Kate Adie once specialised in arts and farming programmes but made her name as a committed reporter from conflict and war zones around the world. Her most high-profile role was that of chief news correspondent for BBC News. More
Met and MOMA report record visitor numbers and membership
The Metropolitan Museum in New York has announced 5.24 million visitors in the year to June, the first time visitor numbers have has exceeded 5 million since 2001. More than 30 exhibitions were presented during the past year. Three of the four most highly attended exhibitions for the year were drawn entirely or almost entirely from the Metropolitan Museum's permanent collection, including one showing 300 works by Picasso from the Met's collection. The museum has a recommended admission fee of $20 which covers all exhibitions inside. The Financial Times has an interview with the Director, Thomas P Campbell, outlining how he is rethinking the visitor experience from the moment people arrive at the museum. Financial Times Met Museum
The Museum of Modern Art attracted its highest-ever number of visitors, 3.09 million, during the year to June. The Wall Street Journal reported that two MOMA exhibitions each attracted more than 800,000 visitors last year: "Monet's Water Lilies" and "Tim Burton". The Museum's $20 admission ticket also covers entrance to exhibitions. Membership also rose, to an estimated 134,000. Wall Street Journal
Increased public funding underpins record year for Art Gallery of Ontario
Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario had a record attendance of 878,478 visitors in 2009-10, the first full year since it reopened with a renovation by architect Frank Gehry. About half that total - 404,364 people attended the blockbuster show King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs. CBC News reports that the exhibition brought in profit of $1 million and memberships were at a record 74,500, but the AGO attributed much of its improved financial position to a boost in support from the province. In April 2009, Ontario increased the gallery's annual operating support by $10 million. Admission revenues grew to $8.3 million. CBC News
The Art Newspaper reports that New York City Council made a turnaround in arts funding last month with a decision to restore about $30 million to the Department of Cultural Affairs to spend on the arts. Cuts of $50 million were initially proposed by the Mayor in May. Despite this unexpected funding decision, the New York state budget for 2011 still includes significant cuts to funding for the arts, as much as 39%. The Art Newspaper
NEWS FROM NMDC MEMBERS
Tate, the National Portrait Gallery, the British Museum and the Royal Opera House have issued a joint statement following protests about BP sponsorship of cultural organisations: "The income generated through corporate partnerships is vital to the mixed economy of successful arts organisations and enables each of us to deliver a rich and vibrant cultural programme. We are grateful to BP for their long-term commitment, sharing the vision that our artistic programmes should be made available to the widest possible audience." The Guardian
Afghanistan War veteran Lance Corporal David Stirling Brown has begun a work placement at the Royal Armouries Museum as part of the Ministry of Defence's Return to Work Initiative. His military career was cut short by injuries he sustained during the fight against the Taliban in 2009. Before he joined the army he was employed as a medieval armourer working for private collections and museums around the world. More
The Science Museum received 2.8m visitors through its doors in its Centenary year, making 2009/10 the busiest year in its one hundred year history. The announcement was made at the launch of the Museum’s latest biomedical gallery ‘Who am I?’ which presents the latest brain science and genetics research through a mix of objects, hands on multimedia exhibits and contemporary art works. More
On 22 June The Wallace Collection celebrated its 110th anniversary as a national museum open to the public. The Museum also marked the 10th anniversary of the Centenary Project, which provide over a third more public space and vital museum facilities. More
National Museums Scotland is part of a new partnership scheme, Old Tools New Uses, which will see duplicate and spare objects from museums across Scotland recycled for use by artisan communities in Africa. The project will encourage museums across Scotland to learn more about their ‘domestic technology’ collections, highlight the treasures of their collections and send duplicates to communities in Africa. Museums can then also acquire examples of the crafts which are created by these communities as a result. The move is part of a Museums Association Effective Collections Project, run by the Scottish Transport and Industry Collection and Knowledge Network (STICK). More
National Museums Scotland has received a donation of £1 million from Scottish businessman Dr Walter Scott for the £46.4 million Royal Museum Project. The donation has brought funds raised to date to over £44 million. The project will see the creation of 16 new galleries, two hands-on discovery centres, a larger gallery for international touring exhibitions, new facilities for education and a state of the art learning centre. It will open in Summer 2011. More
The Museum of London, in partnership with Shakespeare’s Globe, has created a new long-term display at the theatre featuring the 1668 Boar’s Head Tavern sign from the Museum’s collection. The Boar’s Head Tavern on Eastcheap, a street in the City of London, is recognised as the setting for Henry IV Parts I and II. The sign has not been seen in public for over 180 years and will now be on view to the 700,000 people who visit the Globe each year. More
Imperial War Museum North has created an outdoor photographic display featuring 5-metre high reproductions of Cecil Beaton's photographs of Second World War shipyards. The display of 6 images will be the first thing most visitors see as they arrive at the Museum, which sits on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal. Cecil Beaton, best known for society portraits and fashion photography, was official photographer for the Ministry of Information during the Second World War. More
The National Archives has launched The National Archives Labs to involve users in the development of TNA's innovations, whether these are improvements to existing services or completely new ways of presenting the rich and varied information the archive holds hold. The projects in Labs are not intended to be full, finished versions, but a means of showcasing and testing ideas which, if given approval by users, will be refined and integrated into TNA's main website. More
Scientists at the Natural History Museum are using the Museum's collection to investigate how sharks smell their prey. Museum scientists and those from the University of Bath and University of Cambridge are studying how water flows through the channels in a shark's nose enabling it to smell a drop of blood a kilometre away. The research team have created an accurate 3D model of the head of a 50-year-old hammerhead shark specimen from the Museum's collections using a Computed Tomography Scanner. The resulting digital images are then converted, layer by layer, into a 3D object. The research could prove useful to scientists in other areas where detecting chemicals is important, such as underwater exploration, environmental pollution, or even counter terrorism. More
The British Museum's annual review of 2009/10, published last month, reveals that to date 5.5m people globally have downloaded the podcasts of the Radio 4 series, A History of the World in 100 Objects, written and presented by Neil MacGregor. The British Museum’s History of the World project with the BBC also includes an online resource, a children's television series (Relic) and a partnership with over 450 partner museums. The British Museum has also announced future exhibition plans for 2010/11, with a new series of Reading Room exhibitions exploring “Spiritual Journeys” starting with the BP Special Exhibition, Journey through the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead this November, Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe in 2011, and The Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam in 2012. More
The Ashmolean Museum and the V&A's Medieval and Renaissance Galleries have been shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award shortlist. The Award, sponsored by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, the Office of Government Commerce and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, is unique in recognising both efficient procurement and excellent design. More
The V&A has issued a call for papers and expressions of interest for a 3-day conference exploring artist and maker practitioner residencies in public spaces. The conference will examine the impacts of residencies for visitors, host organisations and artists. More
Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums has announced a partnership with Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in South Africa to work jointly on exhibitions, exchange information and promote contact between people living in Tyne & Wear and people in Nelson Mandela Bay. More
The Great North Museum: Hancock has been voted through to the final round of the 2010 National Lottery Awards in the Best Heritage Project category. The winners of the seven award categories will be decided by public vote between 26 July - 13 August. More
Ulster American Folk Park, part of National Museums Northern Ireland, has unveiled the first phase of a £2.4m New World Development expansion. An original frontier log house from West Virginia has been restored and rebuilt with funding from a private donation and investment by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. More
Imperial War Museum Duxford will be hosting Big Stuff 2010,a conference for large object conservators on 6-8 October. The conference includes an international panel of speakers from Australia, Canada, America and Europe, discussing objects ranging from plesiosaur specimens at the Natural History Museum to industrial sites in Germany. More
NMDC vacancy: Head of Strategy and Delivery
The National Museum Directors' Conference (NMDC) represents the Directors of the UK's leading museums and the issues they care about to policy makers and opinion formers. You will lead the NMDC, working with a small staff team and directors of the UK national collections. You will further inform and shape the museums cultural policy agendas across the UK. The role involves developing effective networks, particularly in the political and policy sphere; initiating projects to advance the work and aims of museums and running persuasive campaigns to promote key messages. The NMDC is currently chaired by the Director of the Natural History Museum and the job is based at the Museum.
Closing date for completed applications is Wednesday 14th July. Interviews are expected to take place in the week commencing 26th July. More details
Our jobs website, www.nationalmuseumjobs.org.uk also has details of over 20 other current vacancies at leading museums around the UK including:
- Researcher, National Gallery
- Nature Live Science Communicator, Natural History Museum
- Registrar Traineeship, Royal Armouries, Leeds
- Acquisitions Assistant, National Library of Scotland
- Museum Residency: Photography, V&A
- Audience Research Officer, National Museums Scotland
For details of these jobs and many more visit www.nationalmuseumjobs.org.uk
The iconic red budget box, first used by William Gladstone in 1860, was used for the last time in last month's budget and will now go on display at the Churchill War Rooms in Whitehall. The box, which has been used by every chancellor since Gladstone, with the exception of James Callaghan and Gordon Brown, is in an advanced state of disrepair. Experts at the National Archives have advised that continued use of the box could result in its destruction. More
And, if you’ve always wanted to see the Deputy Director of the British Museum in a toga, here’s your chance… More
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