Museum sees money in metro retro
Sunday 14 March 1999
The exhibition is being sponsored by the City law firm Denton Hall. The museum sees the backing as a step towards establishing itself as "a sponsorable organisation". For Denton Hall it provides an opportunity to step into the sort of territory that large accountancy firms such as Ernst & Young have been occupying with support for exhibitions such as the Royal Academy's current "Monet" display. According to Elizabeth Rantzen, director of business development at the law firm, the attraction is that it reinforces Denton Hall's position as a London firm at a time when it has emerged from aborted merger talks, while also fitting in with its image as a specialist in media and entertainment law.
The Donovan exhibition would not have been possible without the involvement of Denton Hall and matching funds from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport that the sponsorship brought.
There has been a shift in approach at the museum. Simon Thurley, who took over as director of the museum 18 months ago after a spell at the Historic Royal Palaces, has been the catalyst. He points out that while the museum had been "doing amazing things" in terms of exhibitions, it had taken its eye off "the visitor ball", so that annual gates had tumbled from 750,000 to 330,000. On his arrival, he told the governors of the institution (funded jointly by the Corporation of London and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport) that visitor figures should at least pass the 500,000 mark.
"This led to a sudden change of emphasis," he says, adding that the strategy was to target the Londoners who had stopped visiting. Adult Londoners now account for only 17 per cent of visitors, while foreign visitors make up 70 per cent. However, in the 23 years that the Museum of London has been open, the number of museums in the capital has trebled, to 350. Accordingly, competition for visitors and funds is intense.
Dr Thurley believes that a key success factor must be "absolute clarity of purpose": realising that: "This museum is a museum about London for Londoners."
He and his colleagues point to how the exhibition "London Bodies" - on the changing shape of the capital's citizens - had proved highly successful. It is hoped that the Donovan show, which features many scenes from the area in which the photographer grew up, as well as fashion shots that helped define an era, will continue the success. There are also high hopes for an exhibition "London Eats Out", which is being designed by Terence Conran.
`The eye that never sleeps: Donovan London Photographs', until 1 August at the Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2 (0171-600 3699).
- 1 Crystal meth addict 'gouged out his eyes and ate them' while high on drug, Australian MP claims
- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 4 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 5 Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
iJobs Money & Business
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...
£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...
£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...