Art Fund report on the future of touring exhibitions 8 Feb 2022

The Art Fund and Creative Scotland have published the results of new research ‘Going Places: Touring and shared exhibitions in the UK’ based on 200 survey responses. It offers an overview of current practice and future potential, and gives a snapshot of how cultural organisations are working together to share collections and programme temporary projects. It particularly identifies four new developments:

  • As people respond to the pandemic with cultural visits closer to home, touring exhibitions tailored to local contexts are becoming an important new model.
  • Exhibitions are more likely to be based on collections, rather than borrowing art and objects from overseas.
  • There is a greater concern about carbon footprint and sustainability, which may be addressed with more regionally based tours.
  • There has been a very positive growth in digital content and online networking, but with need for support to develop these links and resources.

Gaps in support include: need for better information on how to access funding for touring, deepening of ‘matchmaking’ programmes between museums and funding for infrastructure to improve environmental conditions. The research will now be used to help develop funding programmes, and help to build a strong UK-wide policy framework. Art Fund and Creative Scotland also called for the Museums and Galleries Exhibitions Tax Relief to be made permanent to help the long term flourishing of touring. Creative Scotland, Art Fund