The move of the collections of Bradford’s National Media Museum to London

It’s extremely likely that the tax break for marginal income could affect Bradford’s National Media Museum. Recently, it was announced that the art collections of the museum, which are an integral part of the Science Museum Group, are to be transferred and transferred to Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Bradford will keep the collections, which are said to be from the scientific and technical field of photography. They are important to its ” fresh start” with a fresh emphasis on STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

It is not surprising that this has caused a lot of tension. Around 80 photographers who are well-known, such as Mike Leigh and David Hockney, have signed the statement of opposition that was delivered to the newspapers of the nation.

The main concern is the deprivation of Bradford and the North of England in favour of a city-based cultural collection that is already rich in photography. The establishment of a collection that is super-sized at the V&A that would mean the acquisition from the collections from the Royal Photographic Society (the largest and most significant of the ones that is currently being taken away from Bradford) is likely to be, is believed as a threat to the stated interests of the government in devolving cultural as well as economic resources to regions.

Moving huge treasure sacks out of The National Media Museum is certainly a denial of the North. The current government has been adamant about the idiom of ” the Northern Powerhouse” it wants to see grow. In reality, it has actually been shifting away from its original mission as a museum that is based on collections for a number of years. In 2006, the museum announced that it changed its name to the National Museum of Photography, Film, and Television. The reorganisation that came with the name change led to curators from the collection in the museum redundant.


Another source of express disappointment is the manner the decision to deaccession was made. Although it was the case that Department for Culture Media and Sport believed that it would be an operational issue that was left to the Science Museum to decide how to make the savings they believed were necessary, the vast interested groups outside of the museum were not in agreement. I have viewed a number of documents obtained through Freedom of Information regulations that show that, despite the fact that the board of trustees of the Science Museum and of the National Media Museum had been working on the plan for about several months, the trustees had at never considered offering these to any other museum that those of the Tate or the V&A.

A report was prepared for an assembly that the board of trustees for the Science Museum Group on December 2 from Judith McNicol, a director of the Science Museum Group, under the supervision of Jo Quinton-Tulloch who is director at the National Media Museum. The paper is very clear. “The art and cultural photography collections no longer fit with the aspirations of the museum and the focus on STEM,” it states in the introduction. Then it adds that “the two major museums in this area which are The Tate along with the V&A were offered the chance to express their interest in the collection. Both of them responded enthusiastically”.

We can be certain that they succeeded. However, we should be concerned about the new goals. It’s a unique museum that has no ambition to be one of the most important historic collections in its area.

Why is it only London? There are many other options to consider. There was another option to consider. City of Bradford has already made a significant investment into the National Media Museum and might be able to create a plan for keeping the collection in its hands. The Science Museum’s second daughter house in Manchester, which is the Museum of Science and Industry, could have been able to take over the administration of the Bradford Museum, and savings could have been made by doing this. To not think about these options or other options was an error. The public outrage made this obvious. In the meantime, 27,000 people have signed an online petition against the closures.

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