V&A to unveil new galleries next year

The museum has spent £120m on FuturePlan projects



The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) will complete a £120m series of gallery refurbishments next year. Known as FuturePlan, the project began with the British Galleries in 2001 and the final element will be the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries, opening in November 2009. With ten rooms covering the full east wing of the museum, these European displays will present 1,800 works from the period 300-1600AD.

Fundraising for the £30m Medieval and Renaissance Galleries has just been completed. The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £9.75m, and £1.4m has come from the museum’s own funds, with the remaining £16.85m given by private donors. V&A director Mark Jones admits that in the financial climate of the past few months, it would have been “much harder to raise the money”.

The fundraising drive was led by V&A chairman Paul Ruddock, a medieval art collector and a major financial donor for the project. Others donors include the Garfield Weston Foundation, the late Simon Sainsbury and his Monument Trust, the Wolfson Foundation, Edwin and Susan Davies, Robert H. Smith, and the Hintze, Selz and Foyle foundations.

A number of other spaces are opening at the V&A next year and with the completion of the first phase of FuturePlan, 70% of the museum’s galleries will have been redisplayed.