TAITMAIL    No more Fringe benefits

TAITMAIL No more Fringe benefits

 

By Patrick Kelly


The Edinburgh Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival, and that’s its problem. 

TAITMAIL   Talking of the unspeakable…

TAITMAIL Talking of the unspeakable…

Feelings are running high over what rights museums in the UK have to house certain objects, from a three-legged stool in Oxford that is claimed as a national treasure by Uganda to symbols of religious rites for native Canadians and New Zealanders to the Parthenon Sculptures.

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

Alan Sparrow on another legend of photojournalism, Victor Console

Armouries appoints Edwards as DG

Armouries appoints Edwards as DG

The CEO of Leeds’s Thackray Museum of Medicine, Nat Edwards, is to be the new Master of the Armouries and director general of the Royal Armouries.

McKellen gives £25k for new plays

McKellen gives £25k for new plays

Sir Ian McKellen is offering up to £25,000 to producers to stage new plays and revivals, funded by his successful 80thbirthday tour.

TAITMAIL   The new world of tradition

TAITMAIL The new world of tradition

The new Royal College of Art in Battersea with its infinite spaces and possibilities opened to the public for the first time with its graduate show last month, showing some of the stunning fruits of the minds of young artists who have the latest digital technology at their fingertips, allowing them to fuse moving images, performance and installation in ways inconceivable a generation ago.

Shepherd joins Selladoor

Shepherd joins Selladoor

Selladoor, the regional theatre producer behind the national and international tours of The Jersey Boys, 9 to 5 The Musical and Footloose, has a new executive director in Andrew Shepherd.

Compton Verney’s new CEO

Compton Verney’s new CEO

Geraldine Collinge, director of public programmes at the RSC for 12 years, is to be the new chief executive at Compton Verney.

Perricone to chair Northern Ballet

Perricone to chair Northern Ballet

The Royal Academy of Dance’s chairman is to switch allegiances to become chair of Northern Ballet.

‘Reinvented’ Horniman wins £100k Art Fund prize

‘Reinvented’ Horniman wins £100k Art Fund prize

South London’s Horniman Museum, once a traditional Victorian museum but recast by its director to better reflect its diverse surrounding community, has won this year’s £100,000 Art Fund Museum of the Year award.

Brett Rogers to leave Photographers’ Gallery

Brett Rogers to leave Photographers’ Gallery

Brett Rogers is to step down as director of the Photographers’ Gallery at the end of the year after 16 years.

Cornwall’s museum facing closure after council cuts funding

Cornwall’s museum facing closure after council cuts funding

Truro’s Royal Cornwall Museum faces closure after more than 200 years after Cornwall Council suddenly refused a bid for continued annual revenue funding.

Showroom’s new director is Gabriela Salgado

Showroom’s new director is Gabriela Salgado

Argentina-born Gabriela Salgado is the new director of the Showroom, the London gallery that specialises on experimental collaborations.

Heidi Vaughan to take over at Tobacco Factory

Heidi Vaughan to take over at Tobacco Factory

Heidi Vaughan is to succeed Mike Tweddle as artistic director of Bristol’s Tobacco Factory Theatres.

Probation chief is new English Heritage chair

Probation chief is new English Heritage chair

Gerard Lemos, chair of the prison and probation service, is to be the new chairman of English Heritage, to succeed Sir Tim Laurence in January.

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

Wimbledon hopeful crashes out, 25th June 1993, by David Ashdown for The Independent

By Alan Sparrow

Di Lees to leave IWM

Di Lees to leave IWM

Diane Lees is to stand down as director general of the Imperial War Museums next year, she announced today.

National Gallery goes national for NG200

National Gallery goes national for NG200

The National Gallery is to mark its bicentenary - by going national in a £95m celebration of its foundation in 1824, which includes a major refurbishment.

Little Amal returns to celebrate Refugee Week

Little Amal returns to celebrate Refugee Week

The national seven-day arts festival celebrating contributions made to this country by refugees is launched today.

SOLT/UK Theatre get job share CEOs

SOLT/UK Theatre get job share CEOs

The co-executive directors of the British Chambers of Commerce are to continue their job sharing as join-CEOs of the Society of London Theatre and Theatre UK.

Art Fund steps up museum funding

Art Fund steps up museum funding

Art Fund is making £2m available to museums in new funding schemes this summer.

MY STORY   The drink that StARTs art

MY STORY The drink that StARTs art

A new art prize is to feature in this autumn’s StART London Art Fair, the exhibition devoted to emerging talent at the Saatchi Gallery. The prize is sponsored by Martin Miller’s Gin and here the brand’s global head of marketing, Robert Eastham, explains how the partnership came together

GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE   Museums: Beyond the gift shop window

GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE Museums: Beyond the gift shop window

At Museums Connections 2022 The Revels Office consultancy led an exploration of how museums can combine innovation, experience and retail strategy to create new commercial programmes. The Revel Office’s project co-ordinator, Jeani Tamakloe, sifts the inputs

Platinum medals

Platinum medals

Honoured in the Queen’s Birthday list

Freezing our lifeblood, ignoring our heartbeat

Two reports this week highlight the strange contradiction in our treatment of culture, how as a nation we can both love it and loathe it. One tells us that if there is an economic recovery underway in this country, it is because of the creative industries that receive no recognition in the Brexit negotiations that so badly need something pointing upwards. The other that our museums and galleries, our glory and the things that millions come from all over the world to see, are having their lifeblood frozen in their veins by cash cuts.
 
The lifeblood is the acquisition process that keeps museums from becoming dead repositories – this incredible Lorenzetti triptych transformed Hull’s Ferens Gallery at the start of its year of culture. New objects do not simply take up much needed room, they complete narratives, inspire special exhibitions, inform research, and fascinate an ever more interested public. Somehow politicians have never understood this. Up to three or four decades ago national funded institutions got two grants, one for running costs and a smaller but significant one for acquisitions. Then Lord Gowrie, in Mrs Thatcher’s cabinet as arts minister (who later left politics to become chairman of Sotheby’s because he couldn’t live on a minister’s salary), decided to “tidy it all up” by combining them. When it was put to him that this was effectively abolishing the acquisition fund, he said “no, no it’ll all be all right, it’s incorporated, you’ll see”. Within three years the grants were cut to below what the combined allocations had been, and acquisition funds have never been restored.
 
It takes a history professor (at an American university), to highlight the cryogenic effects of this on museums. His Why Collect? report (https://www.artfund.org/assets/downloads/why-collect-report.pdf ) shows that the UK government spends less on culture in percentage terms than Denmark, France or Latvia. It also shows that junior curators, the poor bloody infantry with shoals of PhDs among its cvs, that has to keep clean, record and love these objects, are paid 25% less than the market rate. http://www.artsindustry.co.uk/news/1033-museums-collecting-frozen-by-funding-cuts
 
Nesta’s report (www.nesta.org.uk/publications/creative-nation) researched with the Creative Industries Council, shows how the creative industries are surging head at an average 11% growth of any other sector in the economy, and will be worth a million new jobs by 2030. It's the UK’s modern heartbeat, but it’s happening organically, without the help of any national policy or in spite of the lack of it. “If cities can increase the number of higher growth, scale-up creative businesses, the creative industries could make a dent in the UK’s productivity problem too” says Nesta’s Hasan Bakshi. “Providing the climate for such businesses to grow should be a top priority for local economic policymakers”. http://www.artsindustry.co.uk/news/1032-creative-industries-on-track-to-create-1m-local-jobs-nesta
 
In both cases the unevenness of local authority funding is as much to blame as the disinterestedness of central government. There needs to be a national system of regional funding for our sustainable arts and creative resources – not least by paying those involved a decent wage – run by our city powerhouses to ensure there is still something for tourists to see, and that we have at least one industrial sector we can boast about.
 

 

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