November 2014

NMDC newsletter: November 2014
Download a PDF version for printing
 
    nmdc  
 
 
  NMDC newsletter: November 2014
 
 
 
 
  In this month's edition:  
 
 
  British Council India launch research and information about UK-India museum partnerships

NMDC Chair interviewed by M+H Advisor on museum funding

The Queen’s Tweet

Nick Serota named ‘most powerful’ in the arts world

The appliance of science: six science galleries for National Museum of Scotland

HLF awards £5m Collecting Cultures funds for curators to ‘go shopping’

London vs regions redux

Council and HLF invest £20m in Aberdeen Art Gallery

Northampton Council HLF bids rejected following Sekhemka sale

Welsh Government announces review into risks of ‘cuts and closures’ to local museums

International Bomber Command Centre to be created in Lincolnshire

Three ships come sailing in for the National Museum of the Royal Navy

British Library forges Gothic partnership with the BBC

Re:Imagine India  - British Council and ACE launch five year India-UK cultural scheme

Design Museum to scrap entry charge from 2016

Very simple guide to new copyright exceptions

Orphan Works Licensing Scheme launched

New structure for English Heritage confirmed
 
 
 
  Section headings:  
 
 
  NMDC news  |  Members’ news  |  Funding  |  Local authority funding  |  Remembering conflict  |  Awards and prizes  |  Broadcast and Still Life  |  International connections  |  Futures  |  Events: creating the resilient museum  |  Law  |  Appointments  |  Staff and careers  |  Structure  |  Tech  |  Jobs  
 
 
  NMDC news  
 
 
november_2014_newsletter/resizetheaster-gates-_-freemason's-bucking-goat,-cart,-track.jpg
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  British Council India launch research and information about UK-India museum partnerships  
 
 
British Council India has launched Museums and Galleries: UK - India Opportunities and Partnerships - a comprehensive review of the museum sectors in UK and India, as well as case studies about partnerships between UK and Indian museums. NMDC was commissioned by British Council India to produce the UK element of the document, and it is hoped that the information will help inform both UK and Indian museums as they develop plans to work together. This resource was produced as part of the Re-Imagine programme, and was launched during the Secretary of State's recent visit to India where he hosted a roundtable discussion between UK and Indian museum professionals.  British Council India
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  NMDC Chair interviewed by M+H Advisor on museum funding  
 
 
NMDC Chair Diane Lees is quoted in an article for M+H Advisor on cuts to museum funding and the debate around the balance of funding across the country. She questions whether there is an imbalance in funding for museums, saying "the current debate has conflated funding for the arts with funding for museums, but there has been no analysis of the many funding sources for the museum sector...and how they are balanced" and that "the real issue is ensuring access to excellent museum provision for all". She also talks about NMDC's work to advocate for the sector, noting that while many politicians at both national and regional level do 'get it' in terms of the value of museums and culture, the challenge is in making the case for museum funding when all areas of public spending are being cut so drastically. 
 
Arts Council England Director of Museums John Orna-Ornstein is also interviewed in the article about ACE's support for museums, noting that around 90% of ACE museum funding is invested outside London. He also highlights ACE's focus on resilience and the need for close collaboration across the sector, including development of a new action plan to set out how ACE will collaborate with other sector bodies to build a more resilient sector.  M+H Advisor
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
 
  Members’ news  
 
 
  The Queen’s Tweet  
 
 
The Science Museum’s new, permanent, Information Age exhibition was opened by HM The Queen, who sent her first ever tweet during the ceremony.  In his introduction the Director, Ian Blatchford, said that the Queen has a track record of embracing new technology, making the first live Christmas broadcast in 1957 and becoming the first monarch to send an email in 1976.
 
The exhibition begins with the first transatlantic telegraph message, which enabled communication in minutes instead of weeks between continents, and ends with the sophistication of modern smartphones. It includes a long term loan from CERN of Tim Berners-Lee’s first server for the World Wide Web. The sponsors BT gave 80 objects to the exhibition.  Twitter, Youtube (short film of opening), Science Museum (press release), Science Museum (exhibition page)
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Nick Serota named ‘most powerful’ in the arts world  
 
 
Tate Director Sir Nicholas Serota has been named as the most powerful person in the global art world, in Art Review’s annual list.  He has been chosen because of the global reach of Tate, and the powerful effect of its eight regional collecting committees on collectors.  Art Review editor Mark Rappolt said that Tate Modern had been particularly influential: “it is not a national collection: it is an international collection that happens to be in London, and that has been important to its success.” Art Review goes on to list some examples of Tate’s worldwide effect:
 
In addition to a record number of loans of artworks, in the past year Tate entered into partnerships with the Ministry of Culture in New Delhi and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul (it has extensive existing partnerships in both regions), delivered a training programme for museum professionals in Oman and launched a Tate-branded Meschac Gaba exhibition that marked the beginning of a ‘cooperation’ with the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle in Berlin. …Tate continues to explore how to influence the world of academia, with initiatives such as the Arts Council England-supported British Art Network, an international networking group for curators and academics working on British art. With Tate, ‘soft power’ counts for a lot.”  Art Review, Guardian
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  The power of science  
 
 
Museum Directors are also represented in the Evening Standard’s ‘power 1000’ list of the most influential people in London.  Natural History Museum Director Sir Michael Dixon and Science Museum Director Ian Blatchford were both included in the Science list – alongside Brian Cox and Kew Gardens’ Carlos Magdalena, a horticulturalist with a knack for saving plants on the brink of extinction.
 
Writing for the Evening Standard, Roger Highfield, Director of External Affairs at the Science Museum, said that the awards were a reminder that London has a long history as a centre for science. He added that institutions from Imperial College’s Create Lab to the Science Museum itself were thriving despite a ‘chilly funding climate’. Evening Standard, Evening Standard (Roger Highfield)
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Major redevelopment for Horniman’s anthropology galleries  
 
 
The Horniman will begin a major redevelopment of its two anthropology galleries following a £3.1m grant from the HLF.  The work will include restoration of some of the building’s original features, a flexible studio space for artistic collaborations and cutting-edge displays, and more material on the life and collections of founder Frederick Horniman.
 
HLF trustee Sandie Dawe said, “over the years, HLF has been one of [the Horniman’s] most staunch supporters and so we're especially pleased that they've continued their ongoing vision with plans for new gallery spaces and an extensive activities programme. We particularly liked that the Museum is getting more of its collection out of the stores and on display and will tell the story of the Horniman family themselves”.  Horniman
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  The appliance of science: six science galleries for National Museum of Scotland  
 
 
The Wellcome Trust has awarded a grant of £1.3m to the National Museum of Scotland as a contribution to the six of its ten new galleries which will be devoted to science.  The Wellcome Trust’s support will focus on the display of biomedical science, from genetics (where Dolly the sheep will be a focal point) to the development of new pharmaceuticals (including the work of Scottish Nobel Laureate Sir James Black in developing beta-blockers and other medicines), and advances in prosthetics and body implants.  Professor Sir John Savill who is leading the Scientific Advisory Panel for the redevelopment said, “The planned new galleries at the National Museum of Scotland will combine one of Europe’s most significant collections of science and technology artefacts with leading-edge modern practices in interpretation, design and programming.” Wellcome, National Museums Scotland
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Ashmolean acquires Constable as part of Acceptance in Lieu  
 
 
The Ashmolean has acquired a major painting by Constable as part of the Acceptance in Lieu scheme.  Willy Lott’s House from the Stour shows the Suffolk countryside where Constable spent his childhood. Dr Alexander Sturgis said, “it is a huge honour to receive this beautiful painting - the first finished work by Constable to come to the Ashmolean - in my first month as Director. The Museum is profoundly grateful to Arts Council England for its support. The painting is on display in the 19th Century Gallery where it can now be enjoyed by thousands of visitors in perpetuity.” The painting settled just over £1m in inheritance tax.  Arts Council
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
 
  Funding  
 
 
  Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee reports on the Arts Council  
 
 
The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has reported on its enquiry into the work of Arts Council England.  The committee said that it would like to see more work to feed a greater proportion of funding to the regions.  John Whittingdale MP, Chair of the Committee said "we heard evidence of well thought out proposals to help redress the balance, starting for example with lottery funding. We welcome the efforts already being made by the Arts Council to shift lottery funding outside of London but would like to see this done faster."  The report also recommended:
 
  • Where local authorities do not support the arts, the Arts Council should not allocate resources: "we are disappointed that a few local authorities appear to fail to recognise the value of supporting the arts and we see little point in pumping public money into areas that do not particularly want or need it."  Westminster Council was among those highlighted on this point.  
  • Any future increase in the Arts Council's Grant in Aid should be allocated outside the M25.
  • Lottery funding within London should be limited to its per capita share.
 

Responding to the report for the Arts Council, Sir Peter Bazalgette said "the report suggests that greater urgency is required around the rebalancing debate and we are pleased that it has acknowledged that we are tackling this, and that there is ‘much to praise in the hard work of the Arts Council.’ We also welcome the recommendation that the Arts Council’s Grant in aid should not be reduced.  Further, the report says that as we have played a part in helping to reduce the deficit, we should be considered a beneficiary in a time of recovery. We welcome this and agree that any further provision in future spending rounds should be prioritised to bolster the national arts ecology outside the M25."  The Stage, Arts Professional, Arts Council of England, Parliament

 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Gold diggers: Micropasts platform launches crowdfunding element  
 
 
The Micropasts platform is an online space for academics and volunteers to discuss and create new research projects around archaeology, supported by the British Museum and UCL Institute of Archaeology.  Now the project has launched a new crowdfunding platform, allowing communities to raise up to £5k for any research into archaeology, history and heritage which is a collaboration between academics and volunteers, and which does not involve excavations.  The organisers urge universities and people who have ideas for suitable projects to get in touch.  Micropasts
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Saving Treasures, Telling Stories promotes better use of archaeology finds in Wales  
 
 
A new scheme in Wales, Saving Treasures, Telling Stories, is working to get more out of archaeological finds by helping museums develop a long term collecting strategy for new finds and creating closer ties with the community from metal detectorists to interested visitors.  HLF is donating £349k to the Portable Antiquities Scheme and Federation of Museum and Art Galleries of Wales to run the scheme, which will also allow for the targeted purchase of newly discovered artefacts from 2015 – 2019.  Training, skill-sharing workshops, presentations, resources and activities will be available to museum professionals and the public. Contact rachaelrogers@monmouthshire.gov.uk for more details.  Museums Wales
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Hedge Fund Manager transforming Auckland Castle  
 
 
A remarkable five year project is underway to transform Auckland Castle from a little-visited bishop’s palace to an internationally significant centre for religious art.  Several years ago the Church of England attempted to sell paintings they owned at the castle to pay for its upkeep: a hedge fund manager with local connections, Jonathan Ruffer, not only covered the cost of the paintings, but took charge of transforming the castle too.  Visitors grew from a few hundred to 7,000 in the first year: now a £50m refurbishment project is underway.  Work includes tapping in to a geothermal spring below the building to provide green heating and a small art gallery in the centre of town to draw people to the castle. The redevelopment will be complete by 2018.  M+H Advisor
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Catalyst Cymru blogs Welsh philanthropists past and present  
 
 
As part of its work to encourage a culture of philanthropy and fundraising in Wales, Catalyst Cymru is publishing a five part blog of ten significant Welsh philanthropists, past and present.  They begin with Bridget Bevan (1698 – 1779) whose circulating schools system made Wales one of the most literate nations in Europe, and Elihu Yale (1649 – 1721) who gave a large gift to Yale University.  The blog also contains tips for modern day fundraising.  Catalyst Cymru, WCVA (blog)
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  The second cut is the deepest: further grant reductions at Arts Council Wales  
 
 
Following last month’s announcement of in-year cuts to Arts Council Wales, the body has now learned that its cut for 2015/16 will be 3%, not the 1% previously anticipated.  Chief Executive Nick Capaldi described the situation as ‘extremely challenging’ adding “we must now look closely at the figures and decide how we will work within these constraints as we seek to protect what we most value in the arts in Wales.The Stage, Wales Online
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  HLF awards £5m Collecting Cultures funds for curators to ‘go shopping’  
 
 
The HLF has awarded a total of £5m to 23 museums, libraries and archives to allow them to add to their collections.  Recipients include:
 
  • Science Museum, who will be collecting 600 Years of Mechanism Created in Lifelike Form (£100,000)
  • Manchester Art Gallery, From Catwalk to High Street (£307,300)
  • National Museums Northern Ireland, Collecting the Troubles and Beyond (£370,000)
  • Royal Pavilion Museums Brighton and Hove, Fashioning Africa (£242,300)
  • National Museum Wales and partners, Saving Treasures, Telling Stories (£349,000)
  • University of Glasgow Archive Services, Darning Scotland’s Textile Collections: recording, identifying and expanding knowledge about Scotland’s Textile Heritage (£91,800)
 
HLF Chief Executive Carole Souter said that the scheme is unique in allowing organisations advance funding adding, “This upfront investment of £5m will enable a diverse range of collections, including children’s literature, robotics, fashion, football and the Black art movement, to be strengthened and enlivened.  Curators will be able to ‘go shopping’ with their HLF grant, researching to identify works of art, images and objects that they would like to purchase over the five-year life span of their Collecting Cultures project.” HLF, Brighton & Hove
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  London vs regions redux  
 
 
The authors of the report which kicked off a debate about the balance of arts funding between London and the regions have produced a new report called Hard Facts to Swallow.  It argues that Arts Council England’s settlement for 2015-18 continues to favour London, with £466m (50%) of grant in aid invested in the arts in the capital - a per capita return of £55.39 per head of population - while the rest of England receives £465m or £10.22 per head of population.  The authors add that arts in London will receive £26.48 per head of lottery money while the rest of the country receives £9.58.
 
Responding in a blog for Arts Council England, Chief Executive Alan Davey argued that the new report again assumes spend in the postcode where the money is awarded – and that organisations with headquarters in London were not necessarily spent on arts activity in the capital.  He said that 70% of National Lottery investment is for projects outside London.  He added, “there is a clear, historical reason for the level of the Local Authority contribution to the arts in London. When the Greater London Council and Metropolitan Borough councils were abolished in 1986 the GLC funds were given to the Arts Council to continue to support arts organisations in London such as the Southbank Centre and Hayward Gallery.”
 
Commenting in Arts Industry, Simon Tait argued that Arts Council England can do little about the local government cuts which have reduced much of the support of local authorities.  He supports Davey’s interest in “the Devolution Opportunity, the growth of powerful regional cities, with partnerships brokered by cultural organisations and public bodies to shift cultural spending higher in their central budgets.”   Taitmail, Museums Journal, Arts Council, HPS (Hard Facts to Swallow text), Guardian
 
Also: 20 museum directors have written to the Museums Journal to take issue with comments made by MA President David Anderson in an online article about the Hard Facts to Swallow report. The letter outlines concerns about the MA's criticism of Arts Council England's funding for museums and argues that, whilst a rebalancing of cultural funding between London and the regions is required, the major crisis for regional museums is cuts to local authority funding. The full text of the letter can be seen on the MA website.
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
 
  Local authority funding  
 
 
november_2014_newsletter/omer-fast_-continuity600x.jpg
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Newcastle’s arms-length arts fund awards £1.4m  
 
 
Newcastle Council has announced the recipients of £1.4m in funds for the first year of the Newcastle Culture Investment Fund, set up after threats to cut the entire Newcastle Council arts budget.  The Great North Museum who will receive £120k, and Northern Stage (£150k), are among the funded projects.  Newcastle contributed an initial £600k to the fund, followed by a further £800k for health and education projects: there have been no donations from philanthropists or business.  However Rob Williamson, whose community fund administers the grant said, "our intention was always to complete the first round of grant-making with the council's initial commitment, which demonstrates the fund's purpose and reach, before considering plans for extending the fund through philanthropic gifts.  Therefore the Community Foundation has not so far made approaches for further support." Arts Industry (subscription only), BBC, Artnet
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Council and HLF invest £20m in Aberdeen Art Gallery  
 
 
A major redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery is going ahead after the HLF offered £10m and the Council matched it, while also agreeing to underwrite the remaining £10m to be raised from philanthropists and businesses.  The work will strip back previous alterations to the Victorian buildings as well as adding a new gallery able to house international exhibitions.  Gayle Gorman for Aberdeen Council said, “Improving our art gallery is an essential building block in our long-term ‘Shaping Aberdeen’ programme to enhance the city to make it even better.  The art gallery is already one of our finest assets and the sensitive proposals which have been brought forward will make it even better.  They will transform it into a must-see venue, with fine exhibitions and life-long educational facilities for people of all ages.” The gallery will close for part of the renovations and reopen in 2017.  BDOnline, Arts Industry (subscription only), HLF
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Birmingham prioritises arts and museums despite huge cuts  
 
 
Birmingham City Council has decided to make its support for arts and museums services ‘high priority’ for protection as it contemplates another round of cuts.  The city has to make £150m in cuts in the 2015/16 budget.  Labour Council leader Sir Albert Bore said that Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the Symphony Hall and Birmingham Royal Ballet are crucial to the life of the city and to attracting international investors.  He acknowledged that some would be critical, given serious problems with social care and housing, saying: “There is an argument that our art and culture is a crucial part of what makes Birmingham a city of note.  But that is the conflict we have to resolve.”  Birmingham Post
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Northampton Council HLF bids rejected following Sekhemka sale  
 
 
Northampton Council’s HLF bid for £240k to display its collection of 19th -21st century designer shoes has been turned down.  The Art Newspaper reports the decision is a result of the sale of the statue of Sekhemka earlier this year, which broke the ethics codes of Arts Council England and the Museums Association.  The report adds that Northampton Council had also intended to apply to HLF for funds towards Northampton Museum’s £14m extension but “this stands no chance of success after the rejection of the designer footwear application.”  Art Newspaper
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Welsh Government announces review into risks of ‘cuts and closures’ to local museums  
 
 
Ken Skates, the new Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, has announced a review into the impact of local government cuts on local museum services in Wales. He writes, “most local museums, including those in the third sector, rely on Local Authority funding or other support. However, they are amongst the non-statutory services provided by Local Authorities making them particularly at risk to cuts and closure in current economic circumstances… I am keen to identify ways of ensuring that museum services continue to be provided at a local level.” A small panel led by Dr Haydn Edwards, Vice President of National Museum Wales, will report by Spring 2015.  Among other issues the panel will explore whether, on a Wales-wide basis, alternative service delivery models, collaboration and joint procurement would create more efficient museum services.  Wales.gov.uk
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Another nail in the coffin of culture (but in a good way)  
 
 
Birmingham Conservation Trust has restored a Grade II Coffin Works and has reopened it to the public as a heritage attraction. Newman Brothers Coffin Works opened in 1894 and had a reputation for producing some of the finest coffin fittings in the world, used on the coffins of Joseph Chamberlain, Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother. It closed in 1999 and the building deteriorated. Now, £1m from HLF match-funded by English Heritage, Birmingham City Council and others has restored the building.  Simon Buteux of Birmingham Conservation Trust said, “Be prepared to be surprised – Newman Brothers was not a gloomy place but buzzed with activity, music and noise: the thud of the drop stamps pressing out coffin fittings by the dozen, the clatter of a long bench of sewing machines where seamstresses made shrouds and coffin linings of innumerable designs and colours.  There are plenty of things that visitors can touch and activities to have a go at.” HLF
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  English Heritage publishes at risk list 2014  
 
 
Last year, the Coffin Works was among the structures on English Heritage’s ‘at risk’ list, so its restoration marks an impressive turnaround.  This year’s list includes Geevor Tin Mine in Cornwall, the most complete tin mine in Europe, Bedlam Furnaces at Ironbridge Gorge, which are now structurally unsound, and Eastbourne Pier in Sussex, still being restored after a fire in the summer. English Heritage
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
 
  Remembering conflict  
 
 
  International Bomber Command Centre to be created in Lincolnshire  
 
 
HLF is to contribute £3.1m towards a new centre telling the story of Bomber Command in Lincolnshire during the Second World War.  A further £8m will be raised by other means.  The opening of the centre, at Canwick Hill near Lincoln, is aimed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the end of the conflict.  The project will involve 600 volunteers by 2020.  Tony Worth, Chair of the LBCM trust said, “This support from HLF will help the trust develop this long overdue project to ensure that this fascinating, if difficult, story is told for generations to come.” HLF, Lincs Bomber Command
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Three ships come sailing in for the National Museum of the Royal Navy  
 
 
HMS Caroline, the last surviving vessel which fought in the 1916 Battle of Jutland is to be transformed into a museum with a £11.5m grant from the HLF.  The ship has been in Belfast harbour for the last 90 years, where it was also used as a command post in WW2.  Some aspects of the ship have remained unchanged for a century including original compasses and telegraphs and the cabin quarters.  The restoration should be complete in time for the centenary of Jutland on 31st May 2016.
 
NMRN has also received a grant of £916k from the National Heritage Memorial Fund to rescue what is believed to be the last landing craft for tanks used on D Day.  In 2008 the 600 ton vessel half sunk in a dock in Birkenhead: now it has been raised and taken to Portsmouth for restoration. 
 
Finally, £1.75m from HLF will enable the last British ship used at Gallipoli, HMS M.33, to be restored and open to the public by 2015. Keith Chapman of Hampshire County Council said, “ [the council] saved her in 1990 and it is very rewarding to see that years of dedication are paying off and she is now well on the way to being open to the public as a permanent attraction of the NMRN.”  NMRN, (HMS Caroline), NMRN (landing craft)
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  HLF warms aircraft hangars to create new museum spaces  
 
 
A £1.3m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will allow the National Museum of Flight in East Lothian to insulate two WW2 aircraft hangars and use them more effectively as museum spaces.  When the buildings were first created they had an expected life of ten years: now one hangar will display military aircraft, and the other post-1939 leisure aircraft. Colin McLean of HLF Scotland said, "With new modern displays and imaginative interactive activities, visitors will gain a greater understanding and appreciation of our national aviation collection.” The whole project will cost £3.6m and be complete by 2016.  STV
 
Also: The RAF Museum is partnering with two other museums across Europe to create an online project with a breadth of perspective about the war in the air during the FWW.  Material from the RAF Museum, Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace (Paris) and the Militärhistorische Museum der Bundeswehr (Berlin) includes diaries, letters and other artefacts relating to a French, German and British pilot who fought in the war.  3p1w
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
 
  Awards and prizes  
 
 
  Cultural Innovation International Prize seeks audience projects  
 
 
The Cultural Innovation International Prize is a biennial award organised by the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB).  This year they are seeking unproduced good ideas for audience engagement.  The winner will receive €10k and the idea may be carried out at CCCB.  The deadline for entries is 5th February 2015.   CCCB
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Heritage awards for app and film makers  
 
 
The Heritage in Motion Awards group has made a call for entries for 2015.  The prize is open to the creators of films, games, apps and websites on themes related to Europe’s heritage,
cultural and natural, tangible and intangible.  The deadline for applications is 1st December, and the awards ceremony will take place in Italy on 8th – 9th May 2015.  Heritage in Motion
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Sixteen Angels  
 
 
English Heritage has produced sixteen short films on each of the shortlisted projects for their annual Angel Awards, ranging from community groups to responsible landowners saving buildings and gardens eroded by time or in one case, overzealous DIY:  “My father had been a little too fresh with a box of dynamite trying to get rid of a tree stump on the main cascade in the 1930s, and had managed to blow the dam into smithereens”. Winners have now been announced including Howsham Mill, a windmill and two churches. English Heritage (winners),  English Heritage
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Ancient House Museum becomes only centre of Arts Award good practice this year  
 
 
Norfolk Museum Service’s Ancient House Museum in Thetford has become the only venue to become an Arts Award centre of Good Practice this year.  It is also the only museum out of 19 venues where Arts Award is taught.  Arts Award is a range of qualifications that support anyone up to 25 to grow their arts and leadership talents by taking challenges in an art form.  At Ancient House projects have included writing guidebooks and curating.  EDP24
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Culture24 seeks feedback  
 
 
Culture24 is running a five minute survey on awareness and quality of its services.  Completed entries will be included in a prize draw.  Surveymonkey
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
 
  Broadcast and Still Life  
 
 
  British Library forges Gothic partnership with the BBC  
 
 
The British Library’s major exhibition Terror and Wonder: the Gothic Imagination has been the starting point for a partnership with the BBC to create a When Gothic Was Born season of programmes.  Ranging from medieval perpendicular architecture, to 80s pop and the 19th century preoccupation with all things gothic, it will show on BBC Two and Four over the Autumn.  BBC
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  BBC and King’s create enquiry into cultural partnerships  
 
 
The BBC and the Culture at King’s College project are working together on a new academic enquiry into partnerships in the cultural sector.  Last year King’s brokered 300 links between creative and the cultural sector, and will be drawing on this expertise.  Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC said, “for arts organisations partnerships can mean bigger and better projects, and for the BBC they are a great opportunity to bring audiences closer to some of the UK’s best cultural institutions.  This project will explore how we can all work more closely together, right across the cultural sector.” King’s College
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Longer than a New York minute: learning to slow down in museums  
 
 
The New York Times reports that museum goers on average spend 15 – 30 seconds in front of a work of art. Now, a number of museums, including the Met, are offering ‘slow tours’ which encourage visitors to seek out a few paintings which speak to their interests rather than rushing through an itinerary of famous works.  Meanwhile, Professor James O. Pawelski of the University of Pennysylvania, is conducting research into the wellbeing effects of spending up to 20 minutes with a single work of art.  He says, “what happens, of course, is you actually begin to be able to see what you’re looking at”.  Although research is ongoing, he theorises there may be benefits akin to meditation.  New York Times
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
 
  International connections  
 
 
  Re:Imagine India  - British Council and ACE launch five year India-UK cultural scheme  
 
 
The British Council and Arts Council England are collaborating on a five year £1.5m lottery scheme to develop collaboration and cultural exchange between England and India. Sums of £15k - £100k will be available, projects will reach beyond large metropolitan areas, and connect English and Indian artists with diaspora communities in England.  During his visit to India, Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said, “This is a brilliant project, not simply because of the creative links that will be formed but also because it will reach artists and audiences in communities that are sometimes overlooked, but whose passion for culture burns just as brightly as for those in the big cities.  The fund will promote creative collaborations and showcase the best of UK and Indian arts across a range of artforms and activityACE, Business Standard, DCMS
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  British Council announces China-UK Connection through Culture Development Grant new round  
 
 
The British Council has launched the 18th round of the China-UK Connections Development Grant. The grant offers one staff member from each participating cultural organisation to visit counterparts in China between February - July 2015, for face to face conversations to enable joint projects.  The programme offers advice, networking and development grants.  Applications close on 7th December, and successful applicants will hear on 9th January 2015.  British Council China
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Working Internationally: Cambridge workshop  
 
 
The Working Internationally Regional project, which helps regional museums who want to create connections with other museums abroad, is holding its next workshop in Cambridge on 25th November.  Subjects include case studies, funding options and facilitated workshops to evolve existing ideas.  Tickets are £35 (£25 for small museums).  Eventbrite
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
 
  Futures  
 
 
  Reimagining academic books  
 
 
The British Library is running a two year research project with the AHRC to explore how academic publishing and books will be reshaped by an increasingly digital world.  The project Communities of Practice: The Academic Book of the Future will be led by academics from King’s College London and UCL.  They expect the findings will be significant across the library, academic and publishing sectors. AHRC
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Design Museum to scrap entry charge from 2016  
 
 
The Design Museum will scrap its entry fee – currently £12.40 for adults – when it moves from Bermondsey to Kensington in 2016.  Museums offering free entry are allowed to recoup VAT on costs relating to their collections, so the museum will gain £1.8m VAT back on their new building, and an additional £150k on running costs in subsequent years.  Deputy Director Alice Black said, "It's very important for us to offer free entry because our big ambition is to show many more people how design is relevant to them and their lives, and admission is inevitably a barrier to that." The Museum hopes to double admission to 650,000 after the move.  Museums Journal
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Former Science Museum Director disputes Greenpeace ‘Lego’ campaign  
 
 
Former Science Museum Director Chris Rapley has criticised the ultimately successful campaign by Greenpeace to remove Shell funding from Lego bricks.  He said, “It is all too easy to demonise the oil companies, but demanding this kind of disengagement is just too simplistic.  It’s also hypocritical because we wouldn’t be able to live the lives we take for granted without the supply of energy these companies provide us.” Shell was a major sponsor of the Science Museum in 2011: today green protests continue across a variety of cultural venues against oil businesses.  John Sauven, responding for Greenpeace said, “brands bring Shell respectability. They help Shell appear uncontroversial.  It’s yet another way that Shell lobbies to maintain its powerful hold on our fossil fuel energy systems.” Guardian
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Re-creators of the Lost Ark: ambitious new plans at the Garden Museum  
 
 
The HLF has awarded £3.51m to the Garden Museum for a major redevelopment project.  Plans include increasing the gallery space, so that the number of objects on display can be increased from 200 to 1,000, and creating a new garden with education pavilions.  The Museum is also working to recreate ‘Tradescant’s Ark’ – a museum created by the famous gardening family which was among the wonders of 17th century London.  Ranging from shields, shoes and swords to natural history, the collection ended up in the hands of Elias Ashmole.  The Ashmolean will now making significant loans to the Garden Museum for the project.  HLF, Garden Museum
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
 
  Events: creating the resilient museum  
 
 
  Oxford Aspire launches Cultural Leaders course  
 
 
Oxford Aspire is offering a week long immersive leadership course on 15th – 20th March 2015, in partnership with Arts Council England and Said Business School.  It is aimed at “dynamic and reflective directors, heads of department, senior managers, and also for brilliant emerging leaders with significant potential who want to challenge and redefine their identity as a leader and their vision for their organisation.”  The course will address the need for leaders to reinvent cultural spaces as not-for-profit businesses, and show entrepreneurial flair.  Speakers will include Richard Evans, Director of the Beamish.  Applications close on January 14th, places are from £750 for UK based participants (£2.5k international).  Oxford Aspire
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Museums Association offer resilience training  
 
 
The Museums Association is offering a one day resilience training course for museums on 25th November at MOSI in Manchester.  Topics include case studies, developing a meaningful mission statement, governance and resilience, organisational change, using museum assets to develop income, and developing resilient community advocates.  ACE has helped the MA to offer 120 subsidised places on the seminar for small to medium museums, at £50.  Standard tickets are from £125.  Museums Journal
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Shaping the Museums Galleries Scotland National Delivery Plan  
 
 
Museums Galleries Scotland is putting together its National Delivery Plan for 2015–19.  Over the next two months it will be holding workshops across Scotland to allow sector workers to contribute.  The next workshop will take place at the Highland Archive Centre, Inverness on 18th November. MGS
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  ACE hosts resilience panel discussions  
 
 
ACE’s Director of Museums, John Orna-Ornstein is hosting a series of panel discussions and workshops to help the sector to become more resilient: both as businesses and in maximising effectiveness in their communities.  Writing for Museums Journal, Orna-Ornstein gave examples of museums that have thrived in difficult circumstances, such as St Albans Museums which has created a new town centre museum despite local authority cuts.
 
The first two events are at the Royal College of Surgeons, London on 19th November and People’s History Museum, Manchester on 3rd December.  Other speakers are from AIM, the MA and museums.  Arts Council, Museums Journal
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  More on Museums Beyond the web  
 
 
Mia Ridge of Museums Computer Group has written for the Guardian on MCG’s 7th November conference and some of the issues that will be discussed.  She explores the risk that museums may get stuck with outdated gallery technology, and describes how Buxton Museum sidestepped apps by creating low budget mobile tours instead using GPS with Wordpress.  She also explores how wearable technology such as Google Glass, or virtual reality headsets like Oculus Rift, may transform what a museum space is.  Guardian, Eventbrite
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Heritage Day 2014  
 
 
The Heritage Alliance annual Heritage Day is taking place on December 4th 2014.  Speakers include Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP, Shadow Culture Minister Helen Goodman MP and Baroness Bonham Carter, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Culture.  Tickets are £35/£25.  Heritage Alliance
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  REMIX summit on culture, technology and entrepreneurship returns to London  
 
 
The Remix summit on culture, technology and entrepreneurship returns to London on 2nd – 3rd December featuring major names from across culture and technology, including Amit Sood of Google’s Cultural Institute, Sir Nicholas Kenyon, MD of the Barbican, Justine Roberts, CEO of Mumsnet and Tim Arthur, Global CEO of Time Out.  Tickets for both days are £415 +VAT until 16th November.  Remix
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
 
  Law  
 
 
  HMRC updates its Gift Aid advice to properties charging admission  
 
 
HMRC has clarified its guidance to charities which charge admission to a heritage property.  The new guidance says that Gift Aid cannot be claimed on admission fees, as the money charged is not a gift.  However voluntary donations at the point of admission do qualify for gift aid.  HMRC, Heritage Alliance newsletter (scroll)
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Very simple guide to new copyright exceptions  
 
 
The Intellectual Property Office has produced a very simple 12 page guide to changes in copyright law, outlining the effects for teaching, museums and private use.  Highlighted changes include:
 
  • Some ‘reasonable’ use of content protected by copyright for purposes of parody, caricature or pastiche is now permitted
  • There is greater freedom to make minor quotations from copyrighted material under ‘fair use’
  • Reasonable copying of film, sound recording and broadcast is permitted for private study.  Institutions like libraries and universities can offer access to copyright works on the premises at electronic terminals for research and private study
  • Some restrictions on the use of copyrighted material in distance learning have been removed
  • Libraries, museums and archives can make copies of all kinds of creative materials in their collections in order to preserve them for the future, where buying a replacement is not possible.  IPO
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Orphan Works Licensing Scheme launched  
 
 
A new licensing scheme for both commercial and non-commercial use of Orphan Works, including those in museum collections, has been launched by the Intellectual Property Office. Applications for an Orphan Works Licence are made online via the IPO website. Many cultural organisations will also now be able to make use of the provisions of the European Orphan Works Directive, which will allow some use of some orphan works without the need for a licence. The IPO has produced simple guidance on how to use the Orphan Works Licensing Scheme, what to do if rights holders return and to see whether the Directive applies. IPO
 
Also: The Collections Trust are running a seminar on copyright exceptions and the impact of changing legislation at the London Transport Museum on 18th February 2015.  Tickets are £250 + VAT.  Organisations can also obtain free guidance by ringing the Intellectual Property Office.  Collections Trust, IPO
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Welsh Government and DEFRA consultation on possession of wild bird eggs until December  
 
 
DEFRA and the Welsh Government are holding a consultation until December to explore whether there is a case for reverting to a previous law on the possession of wild bird eggs, or whether to retain current laws.  Possessing and taking wild bird eggs is an offence, but until 2004 those owning eggs would not be pursued if they could show they had not contravened the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.  Since 2004, only eggs taken before 1954 are exempt from action.  DEFRA is now conducting a survey until 9th December to seek views in favour of the 1981 or 1954 cut-off.  Alternatively, Christian Baars of National Museum Cardiff is offering to collate a response for the Welsh Museum sector, and provide advice to any curator who fears their collection may be in contravention of the act.  He is contactable at christian.baars@museumwales.ac.uk   DEFRA
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Broadcasting museums: RAF Museum stars in BBC course on War in the Air  
 
 
The BBC and University of Birmingham are running a new MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on the subject of World War One: Aviation Comes of Age. The course, which will be viewed in a series of short films by thousands of learners, has been filmed at the RAF Museum and includes materials from documents to aircraft and the Grahame White office which was central to overseeing the production of aircraft in the period.  The Museum says, “The MOOC will allow the RAF Museum to interact with a range of learners in a new and innovative manner that moves beyond the traditional confines of the museum environment.  Learning forms an integral aspect of the Museum’s new ‘First World War in the Air’ exhibitions, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which opens to the public in December 2014.” RAF Museum
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
 
  Appointments  
 
 
Sharon Heal has been appointed new Director of the Museums Association, and will begin the job on 17th November.  She is currently its Head of Publications and Events.  Museums Journal
 
Maggie Appleton MBE has been appointed new CEO of the RAF Museum.  She is currently Chief Executive of Luton Culture and will take up her new role in January 2015.  RAF Museum
 
Dame Mary Archer DBE has been announced as the new Chairman of the Science Museum Group. Science Museum
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
 
  Staff and careers  
 
 
  Strike action planned across the museum sector  
 
 
Around 200,000 PCS union members, including museum staff went on strike on October 16th in protest against pay freezes.  The PCS claims that the freezes will have caused a 20% cut in pay in real terms by 2015.  Protests outside the National Gallery focused on plans to privatise visitor services as well as BP sponsorship of the new Rembrandt exhibition.  Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of PCS said privatisation would be “a disgraceful and cynical move that risks undoing the long history of professional and trusted work by staff at this world-famous gallery”.  The National Gallery said it wants to raise funds from organisations hiring the space outside opening hours: "In order to do this we need to be able to guarantee the provision of essential security and services.  It is for these reasons that the National Gallery is seeking a partner to manage the provision of some of its visitor-facing services.  This is an approach that has been adopted by many other UK galleries and museums."
 
Some galleries were closed by strike action at the National Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern and British Museum, while Tate Liverpool closed all day.  Meanwhile Alan Leighton for the trade union Prospect argued that low pay affected the diversity of museum staff.  Arts Industry (subscription only), Museums Journal, BBC, Guardian
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Collections Trust traineeships begin  
 
 
The first twenty recipients of ACE/Collections Trust traineeships in collections management have been announced.  The year long training includes mentoring and workplace based experience. Among the organisations involved are RAMM, the National Railway Museum, Whitworth Art Gallery and Cresswell Crags.  Collections Trust
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  MGS launches partnership to ‘adopt an intern’  
 
 
Museums Galleries Scotland is working with the group ‘Adopt an Intern’ to offer 20 traineeships in the museum sector for non-graduates over the next year.  They will each receive a £15k bursary.  Applications are now open for the posts, which begin in February 2015 in 16 museums and will lead to a SVQ Level III in museums practice.  MGS
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  National Media Museum consults on senior redundancies  
 
 
The National Media Museum is exploring restructuring plans which could make up to five senior staff redundant.  Its parent organisation, the Science Museum Group must find £3.7m in savings by 2015 – 16, in addition to the £787k cut announced in the autumn statement.  Museums Journal
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
 
  Structure  
 
 
november_2014_newsletter/resrenata-lucas_falha-(failure)600x.jpg
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  New structure for English Heritage confirmed  
 
 
The Government has announced approval for the final separation of English Heritage into two institutions: a new charity (still called English Heritage) which will run, but not own, the National Heritage Collection; and a body called Historic England which will offer expert advice, champion the wider historic environment and provide support for stakeholders in the heritage sector. Chief Executive Simon Thurley will leave the organisation in June 2015 after steering through the changes. Significant agreements include:
 
  • The Government will invest £88.5 in the National Heritage Collection
  • The English Heritage Charity has published a business plan in which it projects to break even by 2022/23 and receive no further public subsidy
  • Historic England has also published a corporate plan and is seeking views in this survey
  • Sir Tim Laurence will be transitional Chairman of the new English Heritage charity, with Sir Laurie Magnus overseeing the work of Historic England
  • There will be no further cuts to English Heritage/Historic England until at least the end of the 2015/16 financial year
 
The Government has also published a document responding to the main concerns raised during the consultation period, clarifying financial safeguards and that Historic England would remain as ‘owner of last resort’ of the National Heritage Collection.  Sir Laurie Magnus said, “we are delighted that the Government has confirmed these plans. The Government’s investment and commitment will provide firm foundations for the future success of both new organisations.Gov.uk (announcement), Gov.uk (EH business plan), English Heritage (Historic England corporate plan), Gov.uk (letter from Sajid Javid), Arts Industry (subscription only), Gov.uk (response to consultation)
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  New support for Hadrian’s Wall  
 
 
Hadrian’s Wall Trust closed earlier this year following financial difficulties, leaving a gap in support for the Wall and its promotion. Now a new consortium has formed including local Tourist bodies, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, local authorities and Northumbria National Park.  Together they will promote the Wall as single product, and encourage people to explore its whole length. Contact Dawn.Watson@northumberland.gov.uk to talk to the Hadrian’s Wall Marketing Group.   Heritage Alliance (scroll, two-thirds down)
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Changing relationships for Visit England  
 
 
English Heritage and Visit England are to work in partnership to help local destination management organisations.  They will concentrate on area promotion and delivering economic growth.  Meanwhile former Tourism Minister John Penrose has suggested to a government committee that Visit England should become fully independent of Visit Britain, mirroring equivalent bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  ALVA, English Heritage
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  National Trust for Scotland must restructure to ‘avoid financial disaster’  
 
 
Kate Mavor, Chief Executive of the National Trust for Scotland, says that a repair bill of millions means that it may be taken to the ‘brink’ in the next decade.  A major downsizing is now being discussed, including shedding some of its 80 property portfolio, merging with other heritage organisations and rebranding to attract a younger audience and shed its ‘elitist image’.  Scotsman
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
 
  Tech  
 
 
  Wallace & Gromit creators with Bristol Museums among the recipients of R&D funds  
 
 
Arts Council of England and NESTA have announced the five recipients of funds from the R&D project fund for the arts.  Together they will receive just over £600k for a year of experimentation and support.  The winning projects are:
 
  • The Hidden Museum – a collaboration between Bristol Museums, Aardman Animations and the University of Bristol.  The project will evolve iBeacons to create tablet and mobile games for families
  • A new tool called Insight will analyse marketing from a group of museums, to explore how to better maximise sales from cafes and shops
  • The 360 degree project looks at creating pop-up, tech-driven surround ‘venues’ for people who cannot access traditional arts spaces – with some small enough to fit in the home
  • The Audience Discovery project is a mobile based outreach tool to bring new audiences to arts venues
  • Neo ticketing will road test three new ticket pricing models to make arts spaces more attractive and reduce empty seats
 
The winning projects saw off competition from more than 500 applications to the fund. Nesta         
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Filling an educational gulf: British Library unveils Qatar Digital Library  
 
 
The British Library, Qatar Foundation and Qatar National Library have unveiled a new bilingual Qatar Digital Library online.  The site is the result of a three year collaboration, and contains previously un-digitised British Library archive materials relating to Gulf history and Arabic science, including 475,000 pages of India office records and 25,000 pages of medieval Arabic manuscripts.  The partners hope it will make children both more knowledgeable about the Islamic world and better equipped for globalisation.  British Library Chief Executive Roly Keating said, “One of the greatest barriers to furthering research of Arabic cultural heritage and British history in the Gulf has been physical.  Previously, you had to go to the British Library to retrieve an archive item.  Now, in one click of a button, that barrier has been lifted and global research on the topic will progress more effectively than ever before.”  British Library, Qatar Digital Library
 
november_2014_newsletter/resizecarlos-bunga-exodus.jpg
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
  Artes Mundi Prize  
 
 
Images this month are from the Artes Mundi Prize show, which is taking place across three venues in Cardiff including National Museum Cardiff, until 22nd February.  The images shown are Theaster Gates, Freemason's bucking goat, cart, track; Renata Lucas, Falha (Failure); Omer Fast, Continuity and Carlos Bunga, Exodus. Artes Mundi supports contemporary visual artists who engage with the human condition, social reality and lived experience.
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
 
  Jobs  
 
 
Current vacancies on the NMDC jobs website include:
 
 
See the full selection of current jobs at NMDC members' organisations here.
 
Share: t f g back to top  
 
 
Download a PDF version for printing