V&A fulfills £100k regional pledge

The Victoria & Albert Museum is fulfilling the promise its then director made when it won the 2016 Art Fund Museum of the Year award, to revive its touring design exhibitions.

More than 60 objects will travel to five museums across England from September in the first phase of the DesignLab Nation initiative.

This is a revival of the museum’s Circulation Department exhibitions, abandoned in the mid 1970s for lack of funding. When the £100,000 prize was won, the late Martin Roth, the V&A’s director, vowed to revive the programme, and the new department was set up.

Cashmere scarf by Mary Katrantzou, 2011

One of the pieces will be Grayson Perry’s Ceramic Glazed Tile, main picture, designed for the exterior of A House for Essex designed by Perry in 2015, which will go to Blackburn Museum.

A House for Essex was a particularly special and personal project for me, so I’m delighted that a piece of it is travelling up to Blackburn to support the V&A’s DesignLab Nation. There is a very worrying decline in the take-up of creative subjects in state schools. If we care about social mobility, wellbeing and economic growth – and if we want our creative industries to continue to flourish – we urgently need to rebalance our education system so that the arts are valued just as much as other subjects.”

René Lalique radiator mascot, 1920-1935

“A House for Essex was a particularly special and personal project for me, so I’m delighted that a piece of it is travelling up to Blackburn to support the V&A’s DesignLab Nation” Perry said. “There is a very worrying decline in the take-up of creative subjects in state schools. If we care about social mobility, wellbeing and economic growth – and if we want our creative industries to continue to flourish – we urgently need to rebalance our education system so that the arts are valued just as much as other subjects.”

Other objects include a teapot by Christopher Dresser from the 1870s, a 15th century jar and bowl from Thailand, a radiator mascot by Lalique from the 1920s, and a 1902 Tiffany vase.

As well as Blackburn, the destinations for the first series are the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry; Museums Sheffield; the Potteries Museum, Stoke-on-Trent; and the National Glass Centre, Sunderland.

“As our creative economy grows, international competition accelerates, and the provision of creative subjects in schools is squeezed, art and design education is needed more than ever” said Roth’s successor, Tristram Hunt. “By bringing together local industry, museums and schools, DesignLab Nation will ensure that the V&A works with communities across the country to educate and inspire the artists, innovators and designers of tomorrow.”

 

 

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