New name announced for National Media Museum

Bradford museum to open £1.8m Wonderlab gallery
Profile image for Rebecca Atkinson
Rebecca Atkinson
The National Media Museum in Bradford is to be rebranded as the National Science and Media Museum as part of a long-term strategy to refocus its core remit on the science behind photography, film and television.

In March the museum will also unveil a new £1.8m Wonderlab gallery featuring 20 permanent exhibits including a "time twister" screen, which virtually separates visitors' heads from their bodies, a waterfall that visitors appear to make hover in mid-air with their hands, and a musical laser tunnel.

The Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft that carried Tim Peake to the International Space Station and back to earth will also go on display at the museum in September. It will be the first time it has left London since it was acquired by the Science Museum Group in 2016.

“These announcements are not only incredibly exciting, but a significant statement of intent – that we are aiming to be one of the leading museums in the UK and worldwide,” said Jo Quinton-Tulloch, the director of the National Media Museum.

“We want to draw in new visitors, encourage existing ones to come more often and open a whole new chapter for the museum. Our collections across the technology and culture of photography, film and TV are unrivalled, and Wonderlab explores the science behind what makes these things magical in a very hands-on way.”

The rebrand will be launched on 23 March, and Wonderlab will open to the public on 25 March. A marketing campaign across print, online, TV and cinema this spring will promote Wonderlab and other galleries at the venue.

The rebranded museum and the new gallery will be free.

The museum was threatened with closure four years ago, but has seen a rise in visitors since it unveiled a new focus on the science of image and sound.

But there have also been protests about the decision to transfer its 400,000-strong Royal Photographic Society archive to London and cease its involvement in Bradford International Film Festival.

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