​V&A Museum announces major collaboration with the Smithsonian

Fashion and design museum Victoria & Albert will work together with the Smithsonian, the largest museum in the US, to develop a plan for a jointly organised permanent gallery space as a key part of V&A’s new east London location.



The collaboration marks the first time the 170-year old Smithsonian is commiting to a long-term permanent gallery presence in another country, as well as a programme of temporary exhibitions and displays.  

“Through a collaboration with one of the world’s great museums, we will be able to inspire and educate more people than ever before,” said Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton. “With the V&A in London, we can build bridges to other countries and continents and share our work with the world.”

The gallery space will be located within Victoria and Albert’s new museum at the cultural complex Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London, which will also host a new university campus for the London College of Fashion.

“Working very closely with the Smithsonian, as well as the other partners in and around the Olympic Park, is one of the key reasons the V&A is committed to developing a new museum, and this proposed collaboration represents an exciting opportunity for us to explore the synergies between two world-class institutions and their collections and knowledge,” said V&A Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer Tim Reeve.

Exhibitions and related programming for the space will be developed jointly by the Smithsonian and the V&A, with the goal of staging Smithsonian exhibitions as part of the V&A East’s overall program.

“Growing London’s cultural sector is one of my core priorities as mayor, so I welcome this trans-Atlantic collaboration between two of the world’s most prestigious institutions,” said Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. “These plans would create an exciting new cultural destination in East London, which will help many more people enjoy the extraordinary collections managed by the Smithsonian and the V&A. It is great news for everyone who wants to see London’s cultural and creative sectors even bigger and better.”

Other partners at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park include performing arts venue Sadler’s Wells, University College London and University of the Arts London. The facilities are expected to open in 2021.

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