10 March 2021

Arts Council England - Recruiting to the Designation and Acceptance in Lieu Panels

The Arts Council supports museums and collections, and opportunities to engage with them, in several ways.  Some of the most important are through the Acceptance in Lieu, Cultural Gifts, Designation and Accreditation Schemes – which ensure cultural objects and public collections are enhanced, cared for and celebrated so that they can be enjoyed by as many people as possible.


They are in the process of recruiting for a few voluntary positions on two of the Panels that support these schemes, with more opportunities coming up later in the year. At the moment, we’re looking for two people to join the Acceptance in Lieu Panel, enhancing the broad range of skills and experience already represented amongst its members, and for a new Chair of the Designation Scheme Panel.


You can find more information on the Arts Council website, or by following the link: 

the deadline to submit applications is Monday 5 April):

  • Acceptance in Lieu Panel Member
  • Designation Panel Chair


The Arts Council also support the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, which the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is currently appointing two new members to (with a closing date of Sunday 14 March).


9 March 2021

Job: Vacancy for Lead Curator: Reimagining the British Museum

 Lead Curator: Reimagining the British Museum Project

Collection Projects and Resources
Fixed-Term (24 Months, end date 21 June 2023)
£48,169 per annum
Application Deadline: 12pm on 19 March 2021

The British Museum is seeking an innovative and critical thinker to lead curatorial and research teams in the delivery of an exciting and complex new project to place global collaboration at the heart of the Museum’s new masterplan. The Reimagining the British Museum project will develop new curatorial approaches to interpreting the collection and developing the narratives that will underpin a comprehensive redisplay of the galleries.

In this role you will manage a dedicated curatorial team who will work with curators and other specialists across the organisation as well as individuals and groups around the world to develop curatorial briefs for new suites of permanent galleries. You will deliver pilot projects such as displays, and digital or other public programmes to test and evaluate different collaborative methods and narrative approaches, producing a clear plan and framework for how the Museum will collaborate globally in the development and delivery of its masterplan. Working beyond your own area of expertise or scholarly discipline, you will provide the right environment to stimulate new thinking and debate while balancing the need to meet challenging deadlines.

The start date for the project and this post is planned for late June 2021.

Further details on the British Museum website. 

8 March 2021

New Book: Returning Southeast Asia's Past: Objects, Museums, and Restitution

 Edited by Louise Tythacott and Panggah Ardiyansyah

With contributions from Gabrielle Abbe, Jos van Beurden, Socheat Chea, John Clarke, Charlotte Galloway, Chanraksmey Muong, Duyen Nguyen, Phacharaphorn Phanomvan, Melody Rod-ari, Wieske Octaviani Sapardan

The last 150 years has seen extensive looting and illicit trafficking of Southeast Asia's cultural heritage. Art objects from the region were distributed to museums and private collections around the world. But in the 21st century, power relations are shifting, a new awareness is growing, and new questions are emerging about the representation and ownership of Southeast Asian cultural material located in the West.

This book is a timely consideration of object restitution and related issues across Southeast Asia, bringing together different viewpoints including from museum professionals and scholars in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia – as well as Europe, North America and Australia. The objects themselves are at the centre of most narratives - from Khmer art to the Mandalay regalia (repatriated in 1964), Ban Chiang archaeological material and the paintings of Raden Saleh. Legal, cultural, political and diplomatic issues involved in the restitution process are considered in many of the chapters; others look at the ways object restitution is integral to evolving narratives of national identity. The book's editors conclude that restitution processes can transform narratives of loss into opportunities for gain in building knowledge and reconstructing relationships across national borders.

"Every Southeast Asian country has a different experience of the loss of antiquities, but we all share in the deeply-felt benefits of contemporary restitution initiatives. This book makes an important contribution to bringing these questions out into the open."
- Dr. Phoeurng Sackona, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, Cambodia

Louise Tythacott is the Woon Tai Jee Professor of Asian Art at Northumbria University, United Kingdom.

Panggah Ardiyansyah is an MPhil/PhD student of History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS University of London.

NUS Press

Sharing Collections: the future of borrowing and lending


 Sharing Collections: The future of borrowing and lending,is a brand new series of free-to-attend live webinars. Each webinar, lasting an hour, will include a panel of professionals working across the arts sector in the UK today. They will explore the journey of borrowing loan objects and exhibition planning, as well as share their insights on the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on museums and galleries and what the future might look like for lending and borrowing as a result. 


The live events will take place online from 2-3pm on the below dates, but will also be available to watch on demand after the series has ended. Each session will focus on the following topics:


1.     25 March, Thinking about borrowing: research and planning   

2.     1 April, Making the case and getting it funded: securing your funds 

3.     22 April, Preparing for a loan: managing change and risk 

4.     29 April, Marketing and audience engagement: building a strategy 

5.     6 May, What do we do now: the future of borrowing and lending 


The series is closely connected to the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund, which provides funding for museums and galleries to borrow works from national collections, encouraging the sharing of works more widely across the UK. Attending the webinars will be a useful introduction for potential and new applicants to the programme but isn't a prerequisite and is open to all. Visit  artfund.org/supporting-museums/programmes/weston-loan-programme or contact Katie Lloyd, grants manager, at klloyd@artfund.org for further information.   


The series is supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation, and brought to you by Art Fund in partnership with the Touring Exhibitions Group (TEG), National Museums Directors’ Council (NMDC) and the UK Registrars Group (UKRG).


Register and find out more information about the series here.




Working Internationally Conference

Leading cultural consultancy, Barker Langham, has joined forces with the International Council of Museums UK (ICOM UK) to curate a series of panels for the 2021 Working Internationally Conference. Titled Shifting Landscapes, Shifting Perspectives, this online conference takes place over three days (16–18 March) and will explore and debate some of the most significant global issues affecting the cultural industry: social justice, sustainability and the future of museums.


ICOM UK and Barker Langham share a common goal to open up discussion on museums, their future and their evolution. Both organisations want to throw a spotlight on the projects and people behind the scenes that are making change in the world.


Barker Langham’s global team works with museums, institutions and cultural organisations across the world. This international outlook shapes every aspect of their work and their focus on identifying different perspectives, fresh ideas and best practice has been the genesis of the sessions that they have developed for the Working Internationally Conference.


Eric Langham, Founder, Barker Langham 

“It’s a real privilege for us to contribute to this conference and to offer our perspective on the museum world as it continues to shift and evolve. What is especially fascinating is that although we acknowledge that no single country, region or even museum faces an identical set of challenges, or behaves in the same way, the three topics that we focus on – social justice, futures and sustainability – are topics that define humanity.”


Each day of the conference will focus on a major global issue: 

Social Justice: Museum responses to decolonisation, restitution, Black Lives Matter, representation and youth on Tuesday 16 March

Museums and Sustainability: Challenges of working in and responding to a changing climate on Wednesday 17 March

The Future of Museums: Where are we now, and where do we go from here? on Thursday 18 March


Barker Langham Curated Sessions


The Barker Langham curated sessions will examine the complexity of the debates around each of these topics. The films aim to curate a toolbox of ideas and experiences that conference delegates can use to inform and shape their own thinking.


Eric Langham, Founder, Barker Langham

“It is our aspiration to make the films conversational so they work in dialogue with the conference participants but also allow us to draw on the wealth of ideas already out there in the world – creating a bigger conversation.”


The three hour-long sessions, each based around an audio-visual think-piece, feature a diverse group of speakers. A live Q&A will be held during each session as part of the chat function on the conference platform.


Day 1: Wednesday 16 March – Social Justice 

14:00 – 15:00 Barker Langham Curated Session – Just Outcomes 

In the context of a sustained move to decolonise museums, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the growth of a global debate about economic inequality, social justice has become a hot topic for museums.

Subhadra Das (UCL), Clara Paillard (Public and Commercial Services Union), Deborah Tulani Salahu-Din (National Museum of African American History and Culture), Matt and Jess Turtle (Museum of Homelessness) and Anne Wetsi Mpoma (independent curator, Brussels) tackle some of the toughest questions facing our profession, from re-centering the stories we tell, to changing pay and hiring policies, to empowering visitors to transform their communities.



Day 2: Tuesday 17 March – Museums and Sustainability

14:00 – 15:00 Barker Langham Curated Session – Testaments from the Age of Humans 

Every object can tell a story of humanity’s impact on our planet and every museum has the power to be a voice for climate action. In this session, Barker Langham will take the audience on a virtual journey across the world’s museums and cultural landmarks, showcasing captivating and unexpected stories that shed new light on the way we think about our places, collections and institutions in the context of the global environmental crisis.

This international tour will take in institutions including the District Six Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the National Museum of Qatar and many more. At each museum, we will hear stories of environmental change and people’s evolving relationship with, and effect on, the world.  


Day 3: Thursday 18 March – The Future of Museums 

This day will be introduced and chaired by Eric Langham

14:00 – 15:00 Barker Langham Curated Session – Responsive Futures

Through political turmoil, public health crises, economic downturns and seismic shifts in global culture, museums have to adapt to survive and remain relevant. Today, many are using rapid-response collecting as a proactive tool to build archives that speak to who we are now. 


Sharing inspiring stories of the ways in which museums have responded to disruption, this film will examine the act of collecting in times of strife. With insights from Foteini Aravani (Museum of London), Dr Aaron Bryant (Museum of African American History and Culture), Anna Burckhardt (Museum of Modern Art) and Suzy Hakimian (Museum of Minerals and Chair of ICOM Lebanon), it will ask how museums are navigating ever-changing landscapes, and shed light on why and for whom they collect.


Further Information

The 2021 Working Internationally Conference, organised by ICOM UK in partnership with NMDC, with support from the British Council and curatorial support from Barker Langham, takes place online from 16–18 March 2021.  

The conference is free of charge for ICOM UK and NMDC members. For booking, and the full programme of speakers and events, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2021-working-internationally-conference-registration-136012148999?aff=erelexpmlt

About Barker Langham

The Barker Langham team includes museum and culture professionals living and working across Europe, China, Africa, the Middle East and North America. Together, they are one of the world’s leading cultural consultancies, creating pioneering and sustainable projects for museums, historical sites, governments and charities. They have successfully delivered over 250 projects, from community oral history initiatives to international mega-museums. Barker Langham’s interdisciplinary team works collaboratively across curation, strategy, interpretation, business planning, audience development, research and recruitment, and approaches every project with the same enthusiasm for seeking out and telling compelling stories and for creating memorable and meaningful experiences. They are expert advisors and mentors for the UK Heritage Fund, the European Union, the Museums Association and UNESCO.