Museums distance themselves from David Adjaye after allegations - Museums Association

Museums distance themselves from David Adjaye after allegations

Holocaust Memorial and International Slavery Museum are among those currently working with the architect
An artist rendering of the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre
An artist rendering of the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre Courtesy Adjaye Associates and UK Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

A number of museums have distanced themselves from the architect David Adjaye following allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against him published in the Financial Times last week.

Following a year-long investigation by the paper, three former employees of Adjaye accused him of sexual assault and harassment, and of creating a toxic work culture.

In a statement to the FT, Adjaye said: "I absolutely reject any claims of sexual misconduct, abuse or criminal wrongdoing. These allegations are untrue, distressing for me and my family and run counter to everything I stand for."

He has apologised for entering relationships that “blurred the boundaries between my professional and personal lives”.

Adjaye has stepped back from several roles, including his work on the planned Holocaust Memorial & Learning Centre in Westminster and his role as a trustee of the Serpentine Galleries in London.

The architect’s firm, Adjaye Associates, which has offices in London, Accra and New York, is involved in a number of museum capital projects in the UK, including the redevelopment of Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum and Maritime Museum.


A spokeswoman for National Museums Liverpool told Museums Journal: “National Museums Liverpool only became aware of these allegations on 4 July as a result of the report published by the Financial Times. We are currently unable to make any further comment but take the allegations described very seriously.” 

The Africa Institute in Sharjah, UAE, has cancelled a major new campus project with Adjaye Associates, saying it is “deeply troubled” by the allegations.

Adjaye has designed some of the most high profile museum projects of the past decade, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver.

Further commissions include the Edo Museum of West African Art in Benin City, Nigeria.

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