Cross: stored collections could fill the gap left by blockbusters

Geraldine Kendall, 19.01.2011
MA collections coordinator talks to Radio London

Sally Cross, the MA’s collections coordinator, has urged museums to use their stored collections more effectively in the face of upcoming cuts.

Speaking to BBC Radio London this morning, Cross said that, although cuts would mean fewer blockbuster exhibitions, museums could still attract audiences by finding more creative uses for collections they already hold.

According to Cross, the fragile nature of many stored objects means that, though not suitable for permanent display, they would be ideal for temporary exhibitions sourced from within.

She said: “Some of the [stored] material is quite vulnerable, such as paper drawings, textiles and costumes. They can be damaged if on display for a long time.”

“With budget cuts it is harder to put on temporary exhibitions and they cost a lot, so we'll probably see fewer blockbuster exhibitions, but I hope museums can use their stored collections to fill those gaps and refresh what they offer to the audience. ”

The MA runs the landmark Effective Collections scheme, offering grants of up to £25,000 to museums wishing to get better use out of their stored collections. The next round of funding closes on 4 March 2011.

Click here to find out more about Effective Collections

To listen to the BBC segment, click here. Cross comes in at 1:22

Cross will be contributing to a more in-depth television broadcast on stored collections from 18.30 tonight on BBC1 London News.