Blog post by Roger Highfield, Director of External Affairs
The museum’s plans to create a £4 million Media Space - a showcase for photography, visual media, technology and science - were outlined a few days ago to leading figures in drama, film and the arts, from Jenny Agutter and Imogen Stubbs to Terry Gilliam and Ben Okri.
Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum Group, give an overview of how the new venture will open on the second floor of the museum this September to display some of the finest collections on the planet while speaking at a lunch organised by Chris Hastings of the Mail on Sunday, also attended by Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries.
Media Space will draw on the National Photography Collection held by the National Media Museum, Bradford. The first exhibition will be Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr, and the inaugural installation in the Virgin Media Studio will be by digital artist studio collaborators Universal Everything, supported by Hyundai Motor UK.
Also addressing the lunch was Michael Wilson, executive producer of the James Bond films, who has been one of the most passionate supporters of Media Space over the years through his interest in photography, which dates back to the 1970s.
Between 2004 and 2012, Wilson was a trustee of the Science Museum and it was during this time he conceived a plan to develop a 1800 m² space in the Museum to display photographs, a venture which has now grown to include new media.
Today, Michael Wilson is a member of the museum’s Foundation , which “ensures philanthropic leadership”, encouraging donors to give their support to the museum’s development.
Other guests included Lord Bragg, Haydn Gwynne, Lesley Manville, Eamonn Holmes, Prof Steve Jones, Duncan Kenworthy; Kathy Lette, Arlene Phillips and Brigitte Hjort Sorensen.
Also present was Ali Boyle, Project Leader on Collider, a new exhibition on the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. Opening in November 2013, Collider is being created with the help of Nissen Richards Studio, playwright Michael Wynne and video artist Finn Ross.
After lunch, many of the guests went on a tour of the museum’s award-winning Turing exhibition, given by curator David Rooney.
To view more photos from the sixth Arts Media Lunch at the Science Museum visit the Science Museum’s flickr gallery.