Appointments

The Museum of London has appointed Jennifer Francis as its new Director of External Affairs. Francis joins the museum’s Executive Team after a role at Grounds For Sculpture in New Jersey, USA, where she served as Director of Brand and Marketing from 2020 to 2023.

Richard Davies, a trustee of The Brunel Museum, has been appointed as its new Chair of Trustees. Davies is Head of Collections Programmes at the British Library, and holds a number of external advisory positions including membership of the Management and Governance Committee for the Digital Preservation Coalition and the Steering Committee for Trinity College Dublin’s flagship digital programme, Virtual Trinity Library. Davies takes over from current Chair of Trustees, Dana Skelley OBE.

The Horniman Museums and Gardens has appointed Marie Smith as its new digital artist in residence. Smith, a London-based neurodivergent visual artist, will carry out a six-month residency, running concurrently with another at the Museum of Art and Photography (MAP) in Bangalore, as part of a joint project. Smith will research and explore three elements – people, soil and trees – in the Horniman’s Nature Trail, Gardens and collections.

Openings

The Young V&A, the former V&A Museum of Childhood, has opened its doors to visitors following a £13m, three-year redevelopment in Bethnal Green. The new museum will showcase 2,000 works from the V&A’s collection of art, design, and performance. More here.

Exhibitions

This Autumn, Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft will be marking ten years since its major redevelopment with the opening of an exhibition about the museum’s co-founder Hilary Bourne and her partner in life and creative practice, Barbara Allen. Brought together by a series of curators, ‘Double Weave: Bourne and Allen’s Modernist Textiles’ explores the success of the two textile designers, who created fabrics for Fortnum & Mason, curtains for Festival Gall, and costumes for Ben-Hur. Runs 16 September 2023 – 14 April 2024.

A major exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace will bring together over 100 works from Henry VIII’s court, including drawings, paintings and miniatures by Hans Holbein the Younger drawn from the Royal Collection. ‘Holbein at the Tudor Court’ will form the largest group of Holbein’s works from the Royal Collection to be exhibited in over 30 years. Runs 10 November 2023 – 14 April 2024.

The Migration Museum’s new national touring exhibition, Heart of the Nation: Migration and the Making of the NHS, is now open at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery.

The exhibition features personal stories brought to life via photos, art, oral histories, keepsakes and an interactive music and video installation co-created by artists Kaia Laurielle, Emmanuel Sugo and seven first- and second-generation migrant NHS workers. It will allow visitors to explore the themes of care and migration through singing and storytelling. Runs until October 29 2023.

A new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland will explore the ‘little black dress’ and the colour black in fashion. Pictured above, ‘Beyond the Little Black Dress’ is supported by Baillie Gifford Investment Managers, and includes 65 outfits from Yves Saint Laurent, Dior and Schiaparelli alongside contemporary designers and brands. A section of the exhibition highlights Black British designers whose work explores Blackness, and how perceptions of the colour black differ in a global context. A new commission by designers VIN + OMI incorporates nettles and horsehair sourced from Highgrove, the private residence of The King and Queen, exploring nature-led alternatives to fast fashion. Runs until 29 October 2023.

This autumn, Imperial War Museums (IWM) opens a major exhibition that explores the purpose of espionage from the First World War to the present day. Opening at IWM London, ‘Spies, Lies and Deception’ features more than 25 stories of espionage, deceit and midsection over the last hundred years. It will display 150 objects, including gadgets, official documents, art and newly digitised film and photography, alongside newly commissioned and archive interviews of people with direct experience of deception, and the viewpoints of industry experts. Runs 29 September 2023 – 31 March 2024.

The Armada Maps, first drawn in 1589 and thought to be the earliest surviving representations of the campaign, are to go on display for a limited time at The National Museum of the Royal Navy. The ten rare maps, which chart the defeat of the Spanish Armada in August 1588, can only be displayed for 45 days due to their fragility to light. ‘The Armada Maps National Treasures’ exhibition runs until 8th August 2023.

Opening later this month at Colchester Castle, a new exhibition will explore the Roman Games and Gladiatorial Arena in Roman Colchester. ‘Gladiators: A Day at the Roman Games’ will display artefacts from Colchester Museums’ collections including the ‘Colchester Vase’, which made headlines earlier this year following research revealing Roman gladiators battled at Roman Colchester. More than twenty objects displayed are on loan from the British Museum, supported by the Weston Loan Programme and Art Fund. Runs 15 July-14 January 2024.

A display tracing the Victorian history of HMP Liverpool, also known as Walton Jail, is to be hosted at the Museum of Liverpool starting this month. Highlights will include original artwork and poetry created by people who were held in the prison earlier this year, as well as specially commissioned photography. The event forms part of a three-and-a-half-year University of Birmingham research project, ‘The Persistence of the Victorian Prison’. Runs until August 2023.

The latest exhibition from Birmingham Science Museum will be held in its new exhibition space, Thinktank, in Birmingham’s Millennium Point. ‘Makers and Machines: creativity in the computer age’ will feature digital and analogue devices, offer visitors a chance to play 1980s computer games, learn how to code on punched cards, and design their own weaving pattern. Both the new exhibition space and Makers and Machines have been funded by Millennium Point Trust.

Funding

A new Changing Places room has opened at Magna Science Centre, the second of eight planned facilities across the borough, after Rotherham Council secured almost £500,000 in funding. The new facility will be registered with the Changing Places initiative, which was launched in 2005, in a bid to help improve facilities to support people living with disabilities.

Events

Arts Marketing Association has launched ‘Reflect, Share, Inspire — Digital Skills for Heritage’, a free event sharing resources created by The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Digital Skills for Heritage Initiative. Speakers from projects funded by the initiative will share the learning of their digital journeys and celebrate their digital successes. Delegates can attend either online or in-person at The British Museum in London on 18 October 2023.

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Image: Models at the National Museum of Scotland ahead of the opening of Beyond the Little Black Dress (Duncan McGlynn)