Access at any cost? Strategies to maintain conservation standards and expertise in the V&A

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Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Smith, Sandra;


Conservation and Access: Contributions to the 2008 IIC Congress, London, p.0-0 (2008)


The Victoria and Albert Museum, London (V&A), is delivering an increasingly broad range of services in order to attract a wider and more diverse audience. Much activity is collections based; loans, gallery refurbishment, exhibitions, etc., and the workload for the Conservation Department is extremely high. Concurrently there is a year-on-year reduction in Grant In Aid (GIA) and the museum is responding to this by reducing core staff numbers in preference for project based, short-term contracts. The paper discusses the strategic approach taken by the Conservation Department to enable it to deliver museum objectives and meet targets without jeopardizing the quality of the work undertaken or the international reputation of the V&A brand. This has involved re-examination and reassessment of priorities and activities. Through the introduction of multiple measures to maximize efficiency, the department has sought to maintain staff skills and promote conservation research in tandem with delivering the V&A’s objectives.