Elgar's £1mappealThe Elgar Birthplace Museum inWorcester has launched an appealwith £1m as its ultimate goal, andan initial target of £500,000 inthree years. Led by the conductor,Sir Mark Elder, the appeal is toensure the museum's future andcontinue its development. "Only atthe Elgar Birthplace Museum canyou get close to Elgar, feel hispresence and understand hiswork," Elder said. "The museum'sexistence as a centre of excellencefor Elgar's life and work is vital tothe international world of music."The museum is set in thecottage at Lower Broadheath,Worcester, where Sir Edward Elgarwas born in 1857, the fourth ofseven children of a piano tuner. Ithas the world's largest collection ofElgar-related material, includingmanuscripts, recordings, lettersand concert programmes, and has become an essential resourcefor scholars. However, the size of thecollection means that only a smallproportion of it can be displayed atany time, and the money is neededto increase secure storagecapacity for the museum'scollections, develop an adjacentbuilding as new exhibition space,keep admission costs to aminimum and widen access,continue the digitisationprogramme of the collection, andto enhance its acquisitions fund. ARTS NEWS12NADFAS REVIEW / WINTER 2011www.nadfas.org.ukThe Goldsmiths' Company has opened its own institute inLondon's ancient watchmaking quarter in Clerkenwell, thanks toa medieval benefactor. The new institute has been funded fromthe bequest of Agnes Hardynge, widow of a former PrimeWarden of the company, who left Goldsmiths' a piece of landnear Fleet Street when she died in 1514. The land realised£17m, which has enabled Goldsmiths' to offer pre-apprenticeship, training-intense courses for post-graduates andbusiness workshops, with a unique scheme for reducing rentsfor the professionals who help with teaching in the institute.Left: An artist's impression of The Goldsmiths' CentreGoldsmiths' Company opens own instituteMillions of people poured into newmuseums over the summer;however, museums introducing anadmission charge have suffered. The new £72m Museum ofLiverpool has welcomed 250,000visitors since it opened on 19 July- an average of 8,300 people aday, three times the numberexpected. Glasgow's new transportmuseum, the £74m RiversideMuseum on the banks of the RiverClyde, has received more than500,000 visitors since it opened on21 June - the target had been800,000 for the first year - with anaverage of 10,000 people a day.And the National Museum ofScotland (NMS), which reopenedin Edinburgh on 29 July after a£44m redevelopment, recorded100,000 visits in it first six days,more than double expectations.On the day of its opening,Chambers Street had to be closedto traffic as 2,000 people waited forthe doors to open.However, there has been adramatic drop in visitor numbers atmuseums that have introducedadmission charges this year,Visitors pour into new museums, but shun chargesaccording to the Department ofCulture, Media and Sport. Forinstance, at the National MaritimeMuseum's Royal Observatory,there were 471,000 visitors in theNew support forfamily museumsawardThe Sunday Telegraphhas takenover media sponsorship of theFamily Friendly Museums Awardfrom the Guardian. Founded in2003 by Dea Birkett, Director ofthe charity Kids in Museums, thecompetition was won this year byMansfield Museum.first quarter of this financial yearcompared with 707,000 for thesame period in 2010.Above: Crowds gathered for thereopening of Edinburgh's NMS Wedgwood Museum's new threatJudgement on whether the award-winning Wedgwood Museum will have to sell its collection was reserved at aHigh Court hearing in September and it is expected in the new year, but administrators believe it may still haveto put items on the market even if it wins. The museum at Stoke-on-Trent was forced into administration whena legal interpretation held it liable for the £134m pension liability of the Wedgwood Group Pension Fund afterWaterford Wedgwood collapsed in 2009. The museum has contested it, but even if the judgement is in itsfavour it may have to sell from the collection, valued at £20m, to pay legal costs.
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