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News in brief | Latest moves, projects, funding and more

President of Amgueddfa Cymru steps down as National Portrait Gallery reveals date for reopening
Nandni Sharma
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President of Amgueddfa Cymru steps down

Roger Lewis has been president of Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales since 2019 Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales

Roger Lewis, the president of Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales, is stepping down at the end of this month. Lewis has been chair of the museum’s board of trustees since 2019. He is leaving the role three months early having committed to undertake a number of other public roles and projects. Carol Bell, vice-president of Amgueddfa Cymru, said: “On behalf of the board of trustees, I should like to thank Roger for his contribution during a period of unprecedented challenge as a much-valued leader of the board. Roger has worked tirelessly, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, to secure excellent relationships with Amgueddfa Cymru’s stakeholders in support of its 10-year strategy.”

National Portrait Gallery announces reopening date

National Portrait Gallery forecourt proposal by Jamie Fobert Architects © Forbes Massie

London’s National Portrait Gallery is to reopen on 22 June 2023 following the most significant redevelopment in its history. Visitors to the museum, which has been closed to the public since 2020, will experience a complete redisplay of the collection and refurbishment of the building, as well as an enhanced welcome area and greater access through the gallery’s new Ross Place entrance, where three new doors have been converted from large windows.

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The gallery’s first floor will encompass nine galleries exploring society and culture in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The redevelopment will also see the gallery’s East Wing returned to public use as the Weston Wing, with original gallery spaces restored and new retail and catering facilities. The project has been led by Jamie Fobert Architects working in partnership with Purcell.

Thackray Museum appoints CEO

Edward Appleyard joins the museum from Harewood House

Edward Appleyard has been named the new chief executive of Thackray Museum of Medicine in Leeds, replacing former CEO Nat Edwards. Appleyard joins the museum from Harewood House, where he was the director of engagement. He has nearly two decades' experience of working in the not-for-profit sector and previously held marketing roles at London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Northern College of Music. He will begin his role on 9 January.

Brunel Museum wins funding for textile collection research

The funding will support volunteer and textile historian Katie Anderson to research the museum’s textile collection

The Brunel Museum has secured two grants for the research and conservation of its textile collection. The first, granted by the Costume Society, will go towards the conservation of a silk handkerchief that commemorates the Thames Tunnel. The second, Madeleine Ginsburg Internship grant will support museum volunteer and textile historian Katie Anderson to conduct research on the museum’s textile collection. This grant is designated specifically on undergraduate and postgraduate students who seek placement roles on dresses or textiles. The Brunel Museum in London’s borough of Southwark explores the construction of the Thames Tunnel.

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Sue Shave named acting director of Jewish Museum London

Sue Shave has been appointed as the acting director of the Jewish Museum London, replacing outgoing director Fran Jeens. Shave has previously served as director of three museums: Coldharbour Mill, Chiltern Open Air Museum and Discover Bucks Museum. She has successfully fundraised for several large capital projects, including the new £1.2m Discover Bucks Galleries at Discover Bucks Museum. The Jewish Museum London’s chair of trustees, Nick Viner, said: “Sue really believes in the work of the Jewish Museum and we are delighted that she has come to join us.”

V&A launches award celebrating women’s photography

Untitled, from the series Be Good Now by Ronan Mckenzie Created in collaboration with Acne Studios © Ronan Mckenzie

The V&A Parasol Foundation Women in Photography Project has launched a new photography prize dedicated to supporting and championing contemporary women’s photography. The five winners of the prize will have their work displayed at Peckham 24, the three-day contemporary photography festival in London, in May 2023, among other opportunities. The inaugural theme of this year is “Agents of Change”, which aims to celebrate the way photography portrays, documents and effects changes. The prize is free to enter and open to female photography artists from around the world. To enter the 2022 competition, submissions must be made via the V&A’s application portal, found on the organisation’s website.

Lottery grant for RAF Museum’s development programme

The RAF Museum in London has secured investment from the National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund for its redevelopment programme, Inspiring Everyone: RAF Museum Midlands Development Programme. The scheme aims to deliver a regional engagement programme alongside a site transformation, and will also support the museum to achieve its commitment to carbon net zero by 2030. The grant is a significant step towards the museum’s fundraising target for the project. The plans will now enter a development phase, before building work commences in early 2025. The project is expected to be complete by summer 2027. 

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Liz Power to leave Museum of Water & Steam

Liz Power is moving to Historic Buildings & Places

The director of London’s Museum of Water & Steam, Liz Power, is leaving for a new role as director of Historic Buildings & Places, the charity that works to support the built historic environment. She joins the organisation not long after its adoption of a new mission, vision and values, and a new brand. Power said: “Having always had the pleasure of working in listed buildings, I’m excited about the opportunity to lead a charity dedicated to supporting and protecting all manner of buildings and places, and exploring how they can be better used for the benefit of communities.” She begins her new role in February 2023.

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