www.nadfas.org.ukNADFAS REVIEW / AUTUMN 2010 11ARTS NEWSArts NewsArts and heritage updates from around the country. Compiled by Simon TaitUlster Museum is Art Fund Museum of YearAbove:Stephen Deuchar, newlyawarded a CBE, describedredevelopment of the UlsterMuseum (top) as 'stunning'Derry to be 2013City of CultureThe once troubledDerry/Londonderry is to be theUK's first City of Culture in 2013,beating Birmingham, Norwich andSheffield to the title. Keyto the year will be the formerEbrington Barracks that are to betransformed into a cultural quarterby the Northern Irelandregeneration company Ilex who arecommitting £200m to Derry,creating 3,000 jobs. Town Clerk Valerie Watts said:"We have been given a once in alifetime chance not only to shareour innate talent, creativity andenergy with the rest of the world,but also to transform this regionforever. This is a new chapter inour journey from plantation topeace, and its legacy will last forgenerations." The city council is also biddingfor World Heritage Site status intime for the 400th anniversary in2013 of its ancient walls. Top:The creation of a culturalquarter at the former EbringtonBarracks helped boost Derry'sCity of Culture claimsBelfast's venerable Ulster Museumhas beaten the Ashmolean inOxford, Blist's Mill at the IronbridgeGorge Museum, and the HerbertMuseum and Art Gallery inCoventry to win the Art Fund's£100,000 Museum of the Yearaward. Originally opened in 1833as the Belfast Municipal Museumand Art Gallery, it became theUlster Museum in 1962 and in1998 the centrepiece of theNational Museums and Galleries ofNorthern Ireland. It reopened inOctober 2009 after a three-year,£17.5m refurbishment. "UlsterMuseum is a brilliant example of amuseum that is passionate aboutits public," said the Art Fund'sDirector, Stephen Deuchar. "Theredevelopment is stunning,capturing its visitors' minds andhearts with exceptional creativeflair." Deuchar himself has somethingto celebrate. He was awarded theCBE in the Queen's BirthdayHonours List for services to thepublic during his time as Directorof Tate Britain, his role beforetaking leadership of the Art Fund inJanuary this year. . You can read our interview withStephen Deuchar on page 28.Chiswick House Gardens reopen after £12m restorationThe 65 acres of Chiswick House Gardens, created byWilliam Kent and Lord Burleigh through the 1720sand 30s, and credited as the birthplace of the EnglishLandscape Movement, have reopened following a£12m restoration. The work has been carried out by a trust createdby English Heritage and Hounslow Borough Council.Original vistas and designs have been restored afterdecades of disrepair and underfunding, and statuaryand garden buildings have also been repaired andrestored. More than 1,600 trees have been planted, includingtrees propagated from the original 18th-centurycedars of Lebanon.
12NADFAS REVIEW / AUTUMN 2010www.nadfas.org.ukARTS NEWSThree years in the making, theMuseum of London's £23m newcore display, entitled Galleries ofModern London, have beenunveiled. For the first time, thegalleries give an account of thecity in the years since the FirstWorld War, as well as bringingback old favourites like the 300-year-old Lord Mayor's Coach. Oneof the new delights is arepresentation of Vauxhall PleasureGardens, the 18th-centuryshowcase for fashionablesocialites, music, writers andartists, and the underworld. "Wewanted to breathe new life into thetelling of a story that is so exciting,so the objects are here to talkrather than simply be admired,"Director Jack Lohman said. "It isthrilling to see our ambitious andcomplex project realised."Museum ofLondon's £23mnew displays Cumbernauld Giant takes shape Autumn will witness the birth of a 10m-high steel sculpture destined tostand watch over the A80 road in Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire.Commissioned from the artist Andy Scott with a £250,000 investment byCampsies Centre Cumbernauld, a special purpose company establishedby North Lanarkshire Council for Cumbernauld's redevelopment, thehead alone of the female figure is 1.5m high. The sculpture, which will beseen by 70,000 people a day, is part of the Cumbernauld Positive ImageProject and is expected to be unveiled later in the autumn. The artist's4.5m-high Heavy Horse stands beside the M8 at Glasgow.MLA to beabolishedThe Museum, Libraries andArchives Council is to be woundup by the Department of CultureMedia and Sport (DCMS) as partof the government's targeting ofquangos to cut costs. MLA willcease to operate in April 2012, butit is not known yet how its workwill be done after then. "The teamin the MLA have worked tirelesslyto develop the capacity of theorganisation since 2007," said SirAndrew Motion, Chairman, andChief Executive Roy Clare in a jointstatement. "MLA is currentlyengaged with local authorities andindependent museums, librariesand archives all over the country.We are helping them to weatherthe storm of recession." DCMS is also reconsidering theroles of English Heritage, theHeritage Lottery Fund and theChurches Conservation Trust. WedgwoodMuseumcollectionsmay be soldA descendent of the founder ofthe Wedgwood pottery dynastyhas appealed for a champion totake up the cause of the 2009Art Fund Award winner, theWedgwood Museum, whichmay close in the autumnbecause of a legal"entrapment". SimonWedgwood has called for"influence" to be brought tobear over the situation, whichmay see the museum'scollections sold to the highestbidder to meet the shortfall inthe pension fund of its formerparent company, theWedgwood Group. The Groupwent into receivership 18months ago with the museumand its collections believed tobe safe in a separate trust, buta twist in a legal documentappears to make the trust liablefor a £134m pension fundshortfall. "The outcome of aforthcoming court case(expected in October) withoutconstructive influentialintervention may well benegative," Wedgwood said."What is sought is a seriouschampion, or champions." Shake up in Welsharts support Welsh arts organisations face amassive shake-up, with the ArtsCouncil of Wales deciding to stopfunding more than a quarter of itsregularly funded organisations.From April, 32 will have their grantsterminated, including the HayFestival and Voluntary Arts Wales.ACW Chair, Professor Dai Smith,said, "We're not using theeconomic climate as an excuse,nor are we deflecting responsibilityonto potential government fundingcuts. We're acting today to keepthe arts vibrant for tomorrow."Elsewhere, the National Museumand Galleries of Wales have a newDirector General. He is DavidAnderson, the award-winningformer Director of Education at theV&A, who succeeds MichaelHoulihan, the new Chief Executiveof Te Papa Tongarewa, theMuseum of New Zealand.