Media Space director did not quit over funds, claim museum chiefs
March 7, 2012
The creative director behind a new Science Museum photo gallery did not resign over funding concerns, claims a public relations company hired to handle media enquiries.
Charlotte Cotton this month stepped down from her post as creative director at The Media Space ? which is due to open in spring 2013 ? ahead of vital building work that is set to begin soon.
The resignation, first reported in an article published by Source magazine on 1 March, has been confirmed in a statement released by the National Museum of Science and Industry (NMSI) which is overseeing the project?s development.
However, it is unclear whether anyone will replace Cotton and how much still needs to be raised for the project.
In the past, Cotton is known to have spoken of the problems in raising funds.
In January, a spokesman for the NMSI-owned National Media Museum (NMM), which was put in charge of the plans, said that £500,000 had so far been spent on a project expected to cost £4m.
At the time, the NMM told Amateur Photographer (AP): ?We are still fundraising and have a number of interested parties. Our current funding includes monies from corporate funders, private donations, trusts and foundations, as well as core funding from the NMSI.?
A spokesman for PR firm Brunswick, which has been assigned to field all press enquiries, told AP: ?At the moment no-one has been announced [to replace Cotton].?
The spokesman added that the Science Museum ?has a lot of curators inside it? They are reviewing how it?s going to go forward?.
Pressed as to whether Cotton?s resignation was caused by a difficulty in raising funds, the Brunswick spokesman added: ?It?s got nothing to do with funding… I don?t think she had any concerns over funding issues.?
He said Cotton stepped down because her ?vision for Media Space had been completed?.
Following the resignation, the Science Museum?s head of Content, Heather Mayfield, described working with her as ?enlightening and inspirational?.
She added: ?We are privileged to have worked with one of the finest curatorial minds in the fields of photography and the wider media.?
In a statement, Cotton said: ?Bringing this vision into reality alongside the Science and National Media Museum teams has been a pleasure. I look forward to its opening in 2013.
Last year, in an interview with the Guardian, Cotton said The Media Space will be a place to discuss new media in a ‘non-institutionalised way’.
‘The Media Space? will view its audience as contributors to vision, rather than passive viewers,’ she said.
Plans for the space include workshops as well as exhibitions, Cotton told the newspaper.
At the time of writing, the NMSI had yet to respond to a request for comment on the level of funding still required for the project.
Its spokesman said: ?They are now committed to opening next spring and, like most cultural institutions, will continue to fundraise before opening.?