V&A plans revamp for art and design spaces

The Victoria & Albert Museum is planning a 16m redesign of its 16 British Art and Design galleries. – Manchester group Robert Letts Associates has designed initial concepts for sponsorship purposes.

The Victoria & Albert Museum is planning a 16m redesign of its 16 British Art and Design galleries.

Manchester group Robert Letts Associates has designed initial concepts for sponsorship purposes. But the museum will be looking for one overall exhibition designer for the two-floor project. A graphics group and a lighting specialist will also be sought.

The development of the plan – first mooted three years ago – follows the appointment of Dr Alan Borg as the V&A’s director in May (DW 26 May).

“We are not sure at present if we will apply to the Lottery for funding,” says Dr Tessa Murdoch, the V&A’s deputy curator in furniture and woodwork. “We may look for sponsorship for the whole project.” Completion is planned for the year 2000.

The project will involve a complete overhaul of the 16 galleries, which Murdoch describes as “outdated, in need of a huge injection of contemporary technology”.

The galleries are devoted to art and design in the UK from 1500 to 1900, covering furniture, ceramics, textiles, silver and painting.

Dr Borg has announced internal staff changes at the V&A. These include the appointment of former surveyor of collections Gwyn Miles to head of projects and collections management, with responsibility for the Art and Design galleries’ redesign.

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