British photographic history

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Charlotte Cotton resigns from MediaSpace (updated 7/3/12)

Source magazine reports that Charlotte Cotton is resigning from her position as Creative Director for London Galleries at the National Media Museum, a position she took up in October 2009 (see: The Galleries called MediaSpace have been beset with delays and difficulties with raising funds and are currently due to open at London’s Science Museum in March 2013. In a conversation this evening a source close to the museum has explained to BPH that Cotton had stepped down as she feels that the work she was asked to do in terms of establishing the vision for MediaSpace had been completed and she felt it was time to move on. There is further substantive and exciting news which BPH will be in a position to report on early next week.  

There have been tensions between Cotton's view as articulated in various seminars and the National Media Museum's broader view. Cotton developed the MediaSpace concept as a venue which represented, and employed, a wide range of media which was a change from the previous plan for a temporary exhibition gallery, mainly used to show photography. The current plans are to showcase material from the Bradford-based museum's collections in London and to use the temporary exhibition area to show exhibitions which would then move to Bradford, as well as showing Bradford exhibitions in London.  Cotton also specified that the proposal was for a space which operated for ten years and embraced the situation of the gallery in the Science Museum rather than in an art institution. Work has recently started on adapting the space although significant fundraising is still required to complete the project. 

However, after delivering her blueprint for the Media Space in December 2009 the project increasingly ran into difficulties. In April 2010 Board members expressed their ‘strong concerns about the budget of the overall project and its feasibility’.

The Museum is currently recruiting for a new Head to replace Colin Philpott who leaves in April. The post is being downgraded from Director and will report directly to the Deputy Director of the Science Museum. The Science Museum is keen to establish closer operational ties to the National Media Museum as the MediaSpace project develops - a project that the Science Museum had initial reservations about - and to ensure it comes to fruition.  

Cotton has declined to comment to Source. The Science Museum and National Media Museum would not confirm the news and were referring all enquiries to Brunswick the PR agency for MediaSpace which has been unavailable for comment to BPH.

See: for the full report. '

Amateur Photographer magazine carries a further report on Cotton's departure:

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