The Smithsonian Institute is teaming up with the Victoria and Albert Museum to be part of the £850 million ($1.1 billion) Olympicopolis arts hub. The plan is to loan Smithsonian artifacts to the London museum for a co-branded, co-curated gallery at the V&A East, and for the institute also to organise temporary exhibitions for the space.
The Smithsonian is hiring two part-time consulting curators for the project: Julian Raby, the former director of the Freer and Sackler Galleries; and Thomas Wide, a former guest curator at the Freer/Sackler. It won’t, however, be paying to lease the space or for its maintenance and operations. Instead, funding will come for the Foundation for Future London.The new initiative, the plans for which have also been scaled back in size to accommodate an adjacent housing complex, is currently slated to open in 2023, two years later than originally projected.
In the US, the Smithsonian is considering opening a museum dedicated to women’s history, pending the passage of a Congressional bill, the Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act, H.R. 19. The institute also announced a new American Women’s History Initiative last month.