June 2011

NMDC Newsletter: June 2011
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NMDC Newsletter: June 2011
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Welcome to NMDC’s monthly news update...
In this issue:

and much more…


NMDC secondment vacancy - Head of Strategy and Delivery maternity cover

NMDC is looking for an exceptional candidate to provide maternity cover as Head of Strategy and Delivery from late August 2011 until October 2012.  This is an exciting opportunity for someone interested in developing a detailed understanding of a broad range of museum policy issues.  Working with a small staff team and directors of the UK national collections, the postholder will be responsible for the planning, coordination and delivery of all NMDC activity.  The NMDC is currently chaired by the Director of the Natural History Museum and the job is based at the Museum.

For further information and details of how to apply see the NMDC jobs website. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the post please contact Lizzie Glithero-West on 0207 942 5385 or email [email protected]

The closing date for applications is 30th June.  Interviews will be held by the end of July.


Giving White Paper sets out plans to renew culture of philanthropy

The Government published its Giving White Paper on 23 May with which it “seeks to renew Britain’s culture of philanthropy by working with charities and businesses to support new ways for people to contribute.”  New commitments include:
  • A £10m Social Action Fund to support the most promising ideas for promoting  giving in priority areas in England, including new schemes for people to volunteer a little when it suits them or match funding school philanthropy projects;
  • £700,000 to support Philanthropy UK, which connects wealthy people with charities that need their support;
  • The establishment of  a new honours committee to ensure people are recognised and celebrated for exceptional and sustained philanthropy;
  • £400,000 support from Government and NESTA to trial ‘Spice’ in England which gives volunteers ‘thank yous’ in the form of  vouchers or discounts with local businesses;
  • A Giving Summit in the autumn, to bring together charities, philanthropists, businesses, technologists and financiers to set the course for the future of giving;
  • Creating a new philathropy committee to review candidates for honours, and supporting payroll giving with a major campaign.
The Giving White Paper builds on other initiatives aimed at supporting philanthropy such as changes to the tax system announced in March’s Budget, which included incentives for giving art to the nation. The White Paper confirms that the Treasury, HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will be conducting a consultation over the summer to look into the feasibility of encouraging donations of pre-eminent works of art and other historical objects to the nation in return for a tax reduction. Lizzie Glithero-West sits on the HMRC and HMT advisory subgroup for this work on behalf of the NMDC.  In this White Paper and/or in the Budget, there are a number of other areas - such as the new honours committee, simplification of gift aid administration, match funding schemes and changes to the donor benefit cap - which reflect requests from NMDC in response to the Giving Green Paper and are to be welcomed.   Giving White Paper Read NMDC's response to the Government's Giving Green Paper here.

Departmental Business Plans

The Government has published updated business plans for each Department.  The DCMS business plan notes that the work to agree with national museums a framework for creating charitable trusts, which will encourage and manage museum donations and private income, is now overdue having been scheduled for completion in March.  This is also highlighted in the DCMS Structural Reform Plan Monthly Implementation Update which adds: “This work is ongoing including discussions with ministers and museums and further investigation about some of the technical questions.  A final framework will be agreed shortly.”   The DCMS Business Plan also now includes a range of indicators designed to help the public judge the Department's success and value for money.  One of the four input indicators is the ratio of charitable giving (donations and sponsorship) to grant-in-aid for cultural institutions funded by DCMS, with relevant data being published annually from July.  This is matched by an “impact indicator” measuring the total amount of charitable giving (donations and sponsorship) to cultural institutions funded by DCMS. Other key data which will be used to judge the progress of structural reforms include:
  • Attendance levels at national museums and galleries and Arts Council England's regularly funded organisations;
  • Economic estimates for the creative and digital industries;
  • Number of foreign and domestic visits to the UK and spend per visit.
DCMS Business Plan   DCMS Structural Reform Plan

Culture Ministers appointed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Huw Lewis AM has been appointed as the Welsh Assembly Government’s Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, with responsibility for national strategy and policy for culture in Wales.  Mr Lewis was first elected to the Assembly in May 1999 and was Assistant General Secretary of the Welsh Labour Party prior to his election.  A former chemistry teacher, his interests include education and the challenges facing the South Wales valleys.  Welsh Assembly Government   Scotland 
Fiona Hyslop MSP has been reappointed as the Minister for Culture and External Affairs in Scotland.  Ms Hyslop was elected as Lothians MSP for the Scottish National Party in 1999 and was a member of the Parliament's Education Committee and then Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning until December 2009, when she became Minister for Culture and External Affairs.  Scottish Government Northern Ireland
Carál Ní Chuilín MLA has been appointed Minister of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) in the Northern Ireland Executive.  She was elected a Member of the Legislative Assembly in 2007 as a Sinn Féin member for North Belfast.  She is presently undertaking a Masters Degree in management and has a particular interest in human rights, housing, community development and the Irish language.  Her first Ministerial engagement was to unveil Cultra Manor at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, which has been completely refurbished with £3m investment from the Department of Culture, Arts and Libraries.  Northern Ireland Executive Ms Ni Chuilin’s appointment of Mary McArdle as her Special Advisor was described by the Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson MLA as “insensitive and a mistake” because of Ms McArdle’s conviction for her role in an IRA killing in 1984.  BBC News

Ideas sought for new Bank Holiday

DCMS has launched a public "pre-consultation" seeking ideas for moving the May Day Bank Holiday.  DCMS is inviting people to contribute their suggestions for alternative dates and occasions via the consultation page of the DCMS website or by joining the debate on Twitter using the hashtag #bankhol  The consultation paper also asks for evidence on the potential economic impact of moving the May Day bank holiday.  DCMS

Hargreaves’ Report recommends legislation to allow use of ‘orphan works’

The Intellectual Property Office has published Digital Opportunity, Professor Ian Hargreaves’s independent review of intellectual property and growth.  One of the key recommendations is that the Government should legislate to permit access to orphan works where the owner cannot be traced.  The recommendation is that this legislation should establish extended collective licensing for mass licensing of orphan works and a clearance procedure for the use of individual works.  The report also calls for a “Digital Copyright Exchange”: a digital market place where licences in copyright content can be readily bought and sold, “a sort of online copyright shop.”  Museums have been campaigning for a change to the law on orphan works for many years.  Research produced by the Collections Trust in 2009 found that over 50 million items held by publicly funded agencies such as libraries, museums, archives and universities were not able to be made accessible in digitisation projects because of copyright restrictions.  Proposals on orphan works were dropped from the Digital Economy Bill during its passage through Parliament last year.  Professor Hargreaves’ report has been “warmly welcomed” by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.  The Government “will be giving the review’s recommendations serious consideration and providing a full response soon.”  Intellectual Property Office Meanwhile the European Commission has also adopted a proposal for a Directive on certain permitted uses of orphan works.  More

Act for culture in Europe – We are more campaign

Culture Action Europe is urging cultural organisations to sign up to support its we are more initiative, a Europe-wide arts advocacy campaign which aims to increase support for cultural activities that benefit all European citizens and stimulate their enjoyment of the arts.  The Campaign will focus on influencing the EU political and financial negotiations for the period 2014-2020.  Culture Action Europe


A new set of guidance notes for visitor visa applications to the UK, translated for the first time into local languages, has been published by the UK Border Agency.  The publications in Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Hindi, Russian, Thai and Turkish have been welcomed by Tourism Minister, John Penrose MP who said it would “make the visa application process more straightforward for tourists and business visitors from the key markets.”  DCMS back to top


Fundamental shift needed in museum outreach and participation

A report from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation calls for a thorough reappraisal of the way outreach and participation work is conducted by museums and galleries, and a review of its fundamental purpose.  The report, Whose cake is it anyway?  presents the findings of research into engagement and participation in 12 museums and galleries in the UK, exploring how far institutions were truly engaged with communities in their area.  The report documents a shortfall in community engagement, suggesting that decades of investment in participation-related activity has failed to embed participatory practices at the heart of museums and galleries.  Instead, outreach and participation exist on the fringes of the institutions' activities funded on a project-by-project basis, rather than at their core, the report contends.  The result is that communities do not feel a true sense of ownership of their museums and galleries.  Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Sir Andrew Motion criticises Government’s “shoot first, aim later” policy

Sir Andrew Motion, Chair of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, has accused Ministers of adopting a “shoot first, aim later” policy in reducing funding for the arts.  Giving the annual Romanes Lecture at Oxford University, in an address entitled: “The Bonfire of the Humanities: Why the Humanities matter”, Sir Andrew criticised both Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP for failing to protect the arts from cuts and voiced fears about a damaging impact of the Coalition Government’s schools and higher education policy on the arts.   Meanwhile, on his final day as MLA Chief Executive on 20 May, Roy Clare issued a statement expressing his hopes for progress and momentum to maintain and improve museum, library and archive services.  Noting that “the political decision to abolish the MLA has been criticised by the Culture Select Committee, who found no good reason for it,” Mr Clare expressed confidence that the MLA and Arts Council England would “manage the organisational risks and deliver the best possible outcome for the public.”  He described, though, the “hiving-off of policy responsibility for archival collections to The National Archives” as “an added complication, carrying the risk of duplication on the ground.”  Roy Clare takes up his new post as Director of the New Zealand’s National War Memorial Museum in Auckland in August.  MLA  Romanes Lecture

Museums Association calls for ACE to scrap “core museums” proposal

The Museums Association (MA) has called on Arts Council England to abandon the plans for the “New Renaissance” programme set out by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).  Setting out alternative proposals for funding non-national museums in England, the MA says: “ACE should not accept the principles of ‘New Renaissance’.  A clear rationale and justification for a small number of ‘core’ museums was not provided; the approach is not tested; and it has only very limited buy in from the sector.”  In particular the MA argues that:
  • Funding should be simplified with a single funding stream within which awards can be made;
  • ACE should broaden the investment ‘portfolio’ and work with partners to strengthen the museum sector more widely; and
  • Investment should prioritise impact and public benefit, not infrastructure or subsidy for institutions.
The future of “New Renaissance” is a key focus for the Arts Council.  Speaking at the Museums and Heritage Show last month, Anna Jobson, Director of Strategy at ACE and Hedley Swain, MLA’s Director of Programme Delivery, gave an update on the transition of MLA functions to ACE.  This included the fast-tracking of a review of the concept of core museums with a view to launching a new scheme later in the summer.  Museums Association  Museums & Heritage Show presentation

Art Fund Museums Prize Short List

The short list for the Art Fund Prize 2011 was announced on 19 May.  Four museums have been selected to go through to the final stage from a long list of ten:
  • The British Museum, London, for A History of the World
  • The Polar Museum, University of Cambridge
  • The new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Scotland
  • The Roman Baths Museum, Bath.
The People’s History Museum in Manchester won the public vote on the long list but was not selected by the judges.  On its website, the Art Fund Prize explained that the judges visit each of the 10 long listed museums and galleries before making a decision based on information and experiences from all long listed organisations by judging them against a set of criteria: “to ensure fairness in the judging process the public poll is used for information only…the judges [are] provided with quantitative (number of votes) and qualitative (a selection of comments moderated by an impartial third party) data from the poll.”  The public poll on the four shortlisted museums is now open.  The £100,000 prize for the ‘Museum of the Year’ will be awarded on 15 June. The museums on the short list for the inaugural Clore Award for Museum Learning are:
  • Museums Sheffield: Weston Park for With Sheba and Arwa (Belonging)
  • National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth for Face to Face: Documenting experiences of conflict 
  • South London Gallery, London for Making Play 
  • The Pitt Rivers Museum and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Oxford for Making Museums
  • Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums, Newcastle upon Tyne for Culture Shock.
The Art Fund Prize

Global catalogue of Nazi-looted art records published online

A global portal has been launched making millions of records related to Nazi-era cultural property available online for the first time.  The portal creates the first international online catalogue of documentation on cultural artefacts taken by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945 and links researchers to archival materials from the United States National Archives, the German Bundesarchiv, the National Archives of the United Kingdom and several other international partners around the world. The National Archives in the UK has worked with the Commission for Looted Art in Europe to catalogue and digitise over 950 files from its collection.  The records, dating from 1939 to 1961, range from seizure orders, inventories and images of looted works of art, field reports and claim forms for seized property to interrogation reports of art dealers and reports of the transfer of looted artworks to neutral countries.  The files document the systematic looting of Jewish households by Nazi agencies, Hitler’s plans to establish a Führermuseum with the seized art in his hometown of Linz and the role played by art dealers in securing and trading looted artworks in Nazi-occupied Europe and beyond. International Research Portal for Records Related to Nazi-Era Cultural Property is hosted by the US National Archives and Records Administration and was launched with a seminar on 6-7th May.  International Research Portal   The National Archives

Huge increase in archaeological finds found by the public

The British Museum has announced that there has been a massive increase in archaeological finds found and recorded by the public.  In 2010 90,146 archaeological objects and 859 Treasure cases were recorded through the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), an increase from the previous year of 36% and 10% respectively.  This increase in finds is mostly due to a rebuild of the PAS finds database in early 2010, which has made it easier to use for recorders, the public and interns employed to record finds, generously funded by the Headley Trust and Institute for Archaeologists.  The British Museum manages the PAS and also administers the Treasure Act 1996.  British Museum

Museums Association launches cuts survey

The Museums Association (MA) has launched a confidential online survey to assess how funding cuts are affecting the museum sector across the UK.  The MA intends to use the data collected to inform its advocacy on behalf of the sector.  Museums Association


An exhibition of works of art from the Government Art Collection has gone on display at the Whitechapel Gallery.  This is the first exhibition dedicated to the collection held in a public gallery in its 113-year history.  The first display shows works selected by seven public, political and diplomatic figures who have worked alongside art from the Collection in various roles, ranging from the British High Commissioner to South Africa to the Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service.  Government Art Collection Last month's Museums at Night event was the biggest yet, with an estimated total of 457 events taking place at 352 venues.  Culture24 is currently collating audience data from the participating venues, and already looking ahead to next year’s event which is due to take place over the weekend of Friday 18th - Sunday 20th May 2012.  Culture 24 back to top


£500,000 Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture

Arts Council England, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) have announced a new £500,000 Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture.  The research fund is for projects that test digital propositions around audience reach and engagement, and new business models that are of interest to the arts and cultural sector. Arts and cultural organisations are being asked to work with those with digital expertise to help them understand the potential offered by new technologies, and together develop innovative project proposals for submission.  Proposals are sought in areas: user-generated content and social media; distribution; mobile, location and games; data; resources and education and learning.  The fund will consider a range of projects - small and large - however, no one project should exceed £100,000.  The deadline for applications is 2nd September 2011.  NESTA

BBC and Culture24 data share feeds ‘Things to Do’ website

Culture24 is now the official cultural data provider to the BBC.  A three year data-sharing collaboration gives museums, galleries, libraries, heritage sites and other cultural organisations the opportunity to have their activities channelled from the Culture24 database to a new BBC activities website called Things To Do.  In order to be included in the Things To Do website, activities must be free or cost-recovery, have a participatory element, link to a BBC project (e.g. Hands on History) and include a photograph.  Culture 24

Google announces collaboration with the Science Museum

The Science Museum is the only UK museum among seven organisations being supported by Google with a total of $12 million in grants.  The other organisations are all based in the USA.  This collaboration was announced on the official Google blog in April, and among the reasons given the Chief Technology Advocate, Michael T Jones, referred to the “many Googlers who cite their own experiences in science museums as a positive influence on their decision to become engineers”.  He also said that “By transforming the curious learners of today into the innovators of tomorrow, museums perpetuate both creativity and accomplishment.”  The Science Museum is working with Google on a programme that reflects these values.  Google

Visit England launch app, QR codes and new website

Visit England has launched a set of new digital products for domestic and international tourists, including a new website, free iPhone app and a pilot scheme using QR codes in 5 destinations to enable smart phone users to view video clips and information.  Visit England

Augmented reality to bring Romans to streets of London

Museum of London has joined forces with TV channel HISTORY™ to launch a new app called Streetmuseum™ Londinium, following the success of the Streetmuseum app launched last year.  The new app will bring Roman London to life using a combination of never-before-seen technologies, with users able to ‘excavate’ artefacts, view augmented reality scenes of Londinium and explore overlaid maps of the ancient and modern city.  Streetmuseum Londinium will be free to download for iPhones and iPads from 25 July.  The app is being launched to complement the Museum's recreation of Roman Gladiator Games on 30-31 July to celebrate the one-year count down to the 2012 Olympic Games.  www.museumoflondon.org.uk  


A list of 10 principles that should be applied by web designers to create beautiful, usable and accessible websites has been published by Sandi Wassmer, who was co-writer of the Government’s e-Accessibility Action Plan.  DCMS back to top


Heritage Lottery Fund announces major grants

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced initial support for five major projects totalling £52m.  A first-round pass has been awarded to a £10m bid for the British Museum World Conservation and Exhibition Centre, which will include a loans management centre to facilitate partnership work, environmentally-controlled stores and study rooms and conservation and science studios and laboratories.  Other first-round passes include Hastings Pier Sussex (£8.75m) Windermere Steamboat Museum (£7.4m), Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (£15m) and the Geffrye Museum (£10.9m).  HLF The HLF has given a confirmed award of £3.4m to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum to restore HMS Alliance and provide new visitor facilities.  Other projects that have a confirmed award are: the Transporter Bridge, Middlesbrough (£2.6m), Wakefield Cathedral (£1.58), Penarth Pier Pavilion (£1.65m) and Wentworth Castle Conservatory, Barnsley (£2.4m).  HLF

Record National Lottery sales mean 7.5% funding boost for Good Causes 

The National Lottery operator Camelot has announced record ticket sales for the 2010/11 financial year, up 6.8% on the previous year and beating the previous sales record set in 1997/98 by over £300m.  In total, £1,665m was raised for the Good Causes last year – an increase of £116.7m (7.5%) on 2009/10’s returns. DCMS has announced that the National Lottery has also achieved more than 80 per cent of its target for funding the Olympic and Paralympic Games, raising £600m to date.  Money raised for the Olympic Lottery Distribution Fund in January to March was up more than 50% on the same period last year, due to a significant increase in Olympic scratchcard sales at the beginning of this year.  Camelot   DCMS

National Lottery Awards Semi-Final

Public voting for the semi-finals of The National Lottery Awards is now open.  Several NMDC members are among the semi-finalists competing for a place in the final round of public voting in September:
  • The In Touch Volunteer Programme developed and delivered by Imperial War Museum North and The Manchester Museum has been short-listed for the Best Education Project.  The innovative adult education scheme has helped over 180 people in Greater Manchester access heritage, re-engage with learning and develop key transferable skills for future employment;
  • The Open Air Laboratories Network, which brings communities, nature enthusiasts and scientists together to discover more about their local area and contribute to scientific research, is a semi-finalist in the Best Environment Project category of the National Lottery Awards.  The Natural History Museum is a partner in the project which began in 2007 with a Big Lottery Fund grant.   
  • Tate Movie Project has been short-listed for the Best Arts Project category.  The programme has involved thousands of 5-13 year old children from across the UK in creating drawings, sound effects and story ideas for an ambitious animated film.
  • The £1.14 million facelift of Birmingham’s 13th Century Weoley Castle Ruins, run by Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, has been shortlisted for a heritage award.
Voting for the semi-finals closes on 20 June.  National Lottery Awards back to top


Natural History Museum returns human remains

The Natural History Museum has returned three ancestral remains to the Torres Strait Island community in the first step towards a new collaborative agreement.  This follows a landmark meeting with representatives from the community and an announcement in March about the decision to return 138 ancestral remains and discuss their transfer, access and future care. The Museum has approximately 20,000 human remains, collected since it was founded in 1881, with specimens ranging from single teeth to complete skeletons.  They are used by researchers worldwide to study a wide range of topics, from human evolution to disease.  Natural History Museum

National Gallery reduces ticket numbers to avoid ‘gallery rage’

The National Gallery has announced that it will reduce the number of tickets available in each timed slot for its forthcoming exhibition Leonard da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan to reduce over-crowding and “gallery rage”.  There will be 180 tickets per half hour slot, rather than the 230 allowed under health and safety rules.  In a recent poll on the Guardian website, 76% of respondents voted that “Yes - the pleasure is dissipated when you have to fight to see the pictures” rather than “No - it's great that people are going to look at art in such numbers.” The National Gallery is also collaborating with Sky Arts, Picturehouse Entertainment and Seventh Art Productions on a broadcasting first: transmission of the exhibition live to cinema-goers and Sky Arts viewers across the UK in a simulcast of an 80 minute film presented by art historian Tim Marlow.  National Gallery  The Guardian

Glasgow’s new Riverside Museum unveiled

The Riverside Museum: Scotland's Museum of Transport and Travel will open to the public on 21 June.  The building on the bank of the Clyde is the first major public commission in the UK for architect Zaha Hadid and will house more than 3,000 exhibits in over 150 interactive displays.  The Museum's major attractions have been designed and built into the structure of the building.  The £74 million museum has been funded by Glasgow City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Riverside Museum Appeal.  Glasgow Life  The Guardian  

National Museums Scotland exceeds fundraising target by £1million

National Museums Scotland has announced that it has exceeded the fundraising target for the redevelopment of the National Museum of Scotland by almost £1m.  As a result of a number of large gifts secured in the final stages of the campaign £13.6 million has been raised, compared to the target of £12.6 million.  The Museum will open at the end of July following the £46.4m project to transform the site in Chambers Street.  National Museums Scotland

$1m for Sir John Soane Museum redevelopment

The Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation in America has given $1m towards Opening up the Soane, the Museum’s three-year, £7million programme of restoration and renewal.  The donation is the largest grant from the Foundation to date and one of the largest grants ever to be received by the Museum.  The Foundation - founded in 1991 to further Soane’s goal of educating the general and professional public in architecture and the fine and decorative arts and to support Sir John Soane’s Museum in London - has run programmes for over 5,000 students, educators, curators, architects, decorators and collectors.  Opening up the Soane will involve restoration work within the Museum’s Grade I listed interiors to open up more areas and aspects of the collection to the public.  Sir John Soane's Museum

New learning spaces open at Tate Modern

The Clore Learning Centre at Tate Modern, located alongside the Turbine Hall, re-opened on 25 May with a suite of newly revitalised spaces designed by architects Herzog and de Meuron.  The new Clore Learning Centre includes gallery-like spaces for the display of work, a welcome room full of resources and information and a small cinema.  The Clore Studio, similar to an artist’s studio, has been designed to allow visitors to develop and explore art practice and the McAulay Seminar Room is for discussion events.  The McAulay Schools and Family Room is a new space for school groups and families to relax and eat their lunches in the gallery.  Tate

New branding for National Galleries of Scotland venues

The National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) has introduced new branding for its family of museums, which is intended to make the Galleries more effective in promoting its public programme.  The NGS logo has been updated and an new identity created for each of the three sites in Edinburgh.  The National Gallery Complex will now be known as the Scottish National Gallery.  The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art will now refer to both gallery buildings on Belford Road, with the main Gallery of Modern Art building described on site as Modern One, and the former Dean Gallery building as Modern Two.  This is part of NGS's long term strategy to develop the Gallery of Modern Art as one comprehensive site.  More


The Science Museum has announced a partnership with Glyndebourne to show a series of live opera link-ups on its giant cinema screen this summer.  Screenings will take place in the Science Museum's cinema, one of the biggest screens in the UK, accompanied by 12,000 watts of digital surround sound – and as at Glyndebourne, picnic hampers will be available.  Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum, said: “So many great scientists are passionate music lovers and this collaboration will send a signal that science is part of culture.”  More Teenagers in the UK are invited to the National Portrait Gallery for free ‘summer school’ art classes, as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.  40 past winners of the BP Portrait Award are supporting BP Portrait Award: Next Generation. 12 artists will work with teenagers during the summer schools in August and 24 during shorter taster sessions in July.  It will be major part of the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad, and will provide a permanent artistic legacy. NPG The Sir John Soane’s Museum has published its collection of Sir John Soane's London drawings, including designs for his family tomb in St Pancras Gardens, which inspired Gilbert Scott’s prototype for the red telephone box.  The new Building Sites catalogues comprise 2,200 drawings for the design of Dulwich Picture Gallery, The Bank of England, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, The Soane Monument in St Pancras Gardens and Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing.  Sir John Soane's Museum back to top


English Heritage sets out plans for protection of National Heritage

English Heritage has unveiled its programme for 2011-15.  In the context of a £51m cut in funding, the organisation is refocusing its energies to concentrate on places that are at risk, with the priorities guided for the first time by the new National Heritage Protection Plan.  English Heritage will also realign its grant activities so as not to overlap with the HLF.  The funding deficit will be addressed through a combination of commercial growth (£12m), efficiencies (£18m), service reduction (£8m) and rationalisation (£13m).  Speaking at the launch of the Corporate Plan, Baroness Andrews, Chair of English Heritage said: “As public funding diminishes, it is imperative that we concentrate on what only we can do.  Ours is a national responsibility to create and apply national standards.” English Heritage has also launched The National Heritage List for England, a new online database of the country's 400,000 listed buildings, registered parks, gardens and battlefields, protected shipwrecks and scheduled monuments.  It is the first time the separate registers have been combined and they can now be searched by postcode, date, grade or category.  English Heritage

National Trust part of consortium to run Heritage Open Days

From 1 October, Heritage Open Days will be jointly run by the National Trust, Civic Voice and The Heritage Alliance.  These three organisations will take over the national coordination of the programme which English Heritage will continue to fund until March 2015.  The future of Heritage Open Days has been uncertain since the demise of the Civic Trust in 2009.  The priority of the new consortium will be to develop a long-term vision and strategy for the sustainable future of Heritage Open Days.  This year’s event takes place from 8-11th September.  www.heritageopendays.org.uk

The Times agrees to name major arts sponsors

The Times has announced that in future it will name the main sponsors of shows in its arts reviews.  In a statement announcing the change of policy the paper said:  “As the demands on the Government’s cash in a time of austerity swell, theatres, museums, concert halls and galleries realise that they must nourish the culture of private philanthropy that is healthy in Britain, but which truly flourishes in the United States with the help of endowment funds and the encouragement of charitable tax breaks.  To play its part in this marriage of culture and cash, the Times will be crediting major sponsors of shows, operas and concerts at the end of reviews where we deem it appropriate.”  The move has been welcomed by Arts & Business has which has long campaigned that arts sponsors should be given the same coverage as sports sponsors.  Arts & Business   The Times

China-UK Connections through culture

The British Council is inviting applications for the 11th round of the Connections through Culture Development Grant.  The grant enables one member of staff to visit counterparts in China with the aim of furthering face-to-face discussions necessary to develop collaborative projects.  The deadline for applications is 12th June.  British Council

New research reveals high levels of bullying in cultural sector

Dr Anne-Marie Quigg, a consultant specialising in Arts Management, has published new research which reveals that the arts and cultural sector has the highest level of bullying recorded in any single employment sector in the UK.  She found evidence that behaviour and employment conditions that are abusive are allowed because the “corporate culture in the arts is in thrall to the concept of the artistic genius.”  Bullying in the Arts examines experiences in a range of countries and describes the personal, organisational, legal and economic consequences of bullying behaviour.  Gower Publishing

Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation to donate £32m to arts and culture

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has promised to donate £32m in music, conservation and fine arts grants and sponsorship.  The first eight awards have been announced, with more to follow in the coming months.  The money was raised by the sale of Picasso's Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto at auction last year.  The painting had previously been the subject of a spoliation claim which was settled in January 2010.  Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation  Guardian

London 2012 Torch Relay will include 66 evening events around UK

London 2012 has announced the first 74 locations which will welcome the Flame during the 70-day Olympic Torch Relay next year.  The Relay will start from Land's End on 19 May and be carried by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers throughout the country.  Towns and villages to be visited, along with places of outstanding natural beauty, sports venues and community hubs, will be announced in a second more detailed route announcement later this year. The Olympic Flame will travel for approximately 12 hours each day, concluding on 66 of the 70 days with an exciting early evening celebration event that will enable thousands of people each evening to enjoy a variety of entertainment and shows staged by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and the three Presenting Partners with the support of the host Local Authority.  London 2012

Diamond Jubilee plans include BBC Concert, “Big Lunch” and beacons

Buckingham Palace has announced plans for the central weekend celebrating The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.  Celebratory activities will take place across the UK on the double bank holiday weekend lasting from Saturday 2 June to Tuesday 5 June 2012, including:
  • The Big Lunch – encouraging everyone in the UK to share lunch with their neighbours, building on an idea that originated from the Eden Project (3 June);
  • A Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, with a flotilla of 1,000 boats  on3 June;
  • BBC Concert at Buckingham Palace (4 June);
  • A network of 2,012 Beacons across the UK and Commonwealth (4 June);
  • A Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, and carriage procession on 5 June.
Exhibitions to celebrate the Jubilee include the National Portrait Gallery’s touring exhibition The Queen: Art and Image, which opens at the National Gallery in Edinburgh this month and a touring exhibition of Cecil Beaton photography staged by the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Government’s Businesslink website has published information for businesses on the implications and opportunities of the Diamond Jubilee.  Buckingham Palace  Businesslink   back to top



The Prime Minister has appointed Andrew Hochhauser QC and Sir John Sorrell as Trustees of the Victoria & Albert Museum.  More Professor Richard Morris and Atul Patel have been appointed as Trustees for the National Heritage Memorial Fund.  More

Accreditation Committee

In agreement with Arts Council England, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) is seeking new members for the Accreditation Committee, which oversees the Accreditation Scheme, the UK standard for museums and galleries.  Applications/expressions of interest are sought from people with recent and extensive experience of museum management at a senior level and a broad understanding of the museum sector for 3 year appointments.  MLA


Professor Lord Colin Renfrew of Kaimsthorn has been appointed as successor to Professor Norman Palmer as Chairman of the Treasure Valuation Committee.


Dame Lynne Brindley has been appointed as a Non-Executive Director of Ofcom, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced today. She will take up the position on September 1 for three years. Mr Hunt said “I am pleased to announce that Dame Patricia Hodgson and Dame Lynne Brindley are joining the Ofcom board. It is essential the regulator has people with extensive skills and experience on its board. I am delighted to be appointing two such people. They will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the regulator. I have no doubt they will play a major part in helping Ofcom carry out its essential role.”

London & Partners

Gordon Innes has been appointed as CEO of London & Partners, the official promotion agency for London representing tourism, inward investment and higher education.  He joins London & Partners from the Department for Business and Innovation, and has previously held positions at the Foreign Office and UK Trade & Investment.  More

J Paul Getty Trust

James Cuno has been appointed as President and Chief Executive of the J. Paul Getty Trust.  He has been Director of the Art Institute of Chicago since 2004 and was previously Director and Professor and of the Courtauld Institute of Art in London from 2003-4.  The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts and runs the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute.  Mr Cuno’s appointment follows the untimely death of James N. Wood last year.  J Paul Getty Trust back to top

Our jobs website, www.nationalmuseumjobs.org.uk also has details of over 20 current vacancies at leading museums around the UK including:
  • Corporate Sales Manager, Museum of London
  • Marketing Manager (Learning & Events), V&A
  • Training Officer, Royal Armouries 
  • Senior Research Officer, National Museums Liverpool
  • Exhibitions Organiser, National Gallery
  • Conservator - Egyptian polychrome organic objects, Ashmolean Museum
  • Senior Curator - Exhibitions, National Galleries of Scotland
  • Paintings Conservator, National Maritime Museum
For details of these jobs and many more visit www.nationalmuseumjobs.org.uk

And finally...

An 18th Century jail door stolen from outside West Berkshire Museum in 1996 has been returned.  BBC News reports that a local resident found the door when he moved into his home five years ago.  He recently decided to look into its origins and contacted West Berkshire Museum, where staff identified it as their missing door.  Museum staff believe the door was abandoned in the garden by the thieves.  BBC News back to top

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If you have any comments or contributions for the newsletter please send them to the Editor, Kate Smith, at [email protected].
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