Media Space is scheduled to open next year on the second floor of the Science Museum

Science Museum project hit by director resigning

Gareth Harris, Issue 112/04, p15, 01.04.2012
Direction of Media Space unclear after scheme's creative director, Charlotte Cotton, quits
Plans by the National Museum of Science and Industry (NMSI) to open an outpost of Bradford’s National Media Museum in London have suffered a blow following the resignation of the project’s creative director, Charlotte Cotton.

The new venture, to be called Media Space, is scheduled to open early next year on the second floor of the Science Museum. Cotton, a former curator of photography at the Victoria and Albert Museum, who was appointed in 2009, was responsible for the “curatorial vision” of the space.

Museums Journal understands that she will not be replaced, prompting questions over the future direction of the project. According to a press statement from the NMSI, Media Space will consist of “a breathtaking gallery for the exhibition of visual media surrounded by cultural spaces for exploring, discussing, testing and exhibiting creative technologies”.

Ian Blatchford, director of the National Museum of Science and Industry (NMSI), the parent museum of the National Media Museum and the Science Museum, added: “The National Media Museum’s world-class exhibition and collections will be a fantastic new offer for our visitors [at Media Space].”

But trade photography journal Source has aired concerns that raising the £4m that the project will cost has proved difficult. A spokesman for the National Media Museum responded: “The NMSI has funds in place to commit to opening Media Space in spring 2013. We are continuing to raise funds for additional elements of the build and the ongoing programme.”

Meanwhile, the National Media Museum is recruiting to replace Colin Philpott, who leaves his role as director this month. Philpott’s departure is part of a reorganisation of the senior team. The overhaul means there will no longer be a director-level role at the institution.

The new head of the National Media Museum will subsequently report to Heather Mayfield, the deputy director of the Science Museum.