Martin Roth to leave the V&A in Autumn 2016

Digital Media
September 5, 2016
Martin Roth, Director
Martin Roth, Director

Martin Roth, Director of the V&A since September 2011, has announced to staff today he will leave his role in the Autumn after five years in post.

Martin has presided over a succession of critically acclaimed exhibitions, most notably David Bowie is and Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, achieving record visitor numbers, which last year reached the highest level in the Museum’s 150 year history – as well as the ambitious refurbishment of multiple galleries showcasing the V&A’s world-leading collections, including most recently the new Europe 1600-1815 galleries. He has also overseen major developments including construction of the new Exhibition Road entrance, courtyard and gallery, due to open in 2017, as well as developing significant strategic partnerships in Shenzhen, Dundee and with V&A East in the Queen Elizabeth Park, East London.

Under his directorship, Martin has established the new Design, Architecture and Digital Department, and spearheaded new and socially responsive programming, from the Disobedient Objects exhibition to the current Engineering Season. He has also forged many innovative new partnerships, not least with the Venice Biennale, World Economic Forum and International Olympic Committee. The Museum was recently awarded Art Fund Museum of the Year 2016, the biggest museum prize in the world, and praised for its ‘exceptional imagination, innovation and achievement across the previous 12 months.’

Martin Roth said: “It’s been an enormous privilege and tremendously exciting to lead this great museum, with its outstanding staff and collections, and I’m proud to have steered it to new successes and a period of growth and expansion, including new partnerships around the UK and internationally. Our recent accolade as Art Fund Museum of the Year feels like the perfect moment to draw to a close my mission in London and hand over to a new director to take the V&A forward to an exciting future.”

Nicholas Coleridge, Chairman of the Trustees of the V&A said: “Martin’s tenure as Director has been marked by a highly successful period of creativity, expansion and reorganisation of the V&A. He has made a significant contribution to the success of this museum, and the Trustees are immensely grateful for all that he has achieved here. We are now starting the process of looking for someone to take on the role and are fortunate to have an exceptional team in place to lead its activities and help build its future with the new Director.”

Martin intends to devote more time to various international cultural consultancies and plans to spend more time with his wife Harriet and their children, in Berlin and Vancouver.

The V&A’s Board of Trustees will now begin the search to find a new Director.

About the author

Digital Media
September 5, 2016

I produce and commission digital things to help tell stories about our collections and programme of exhibitions and displays.

More from Keith Hale
10 comments so far, view or add yours


Let us know why he leaves. German paper say it is because of the new anti-European mood in the UK

Wish this to my former colleagues, Dr. Martin Roth, he enjoys his future free time and something cuts back on his expenses!

Wilfried Apenberg

If it is true that Mr. Roth is leaving due to a supposed anti-European mood, it is him who is isolating GB, not GB isolating itself from Europe.

An old favourite. Just how old are his children?!?!

Ask anyone who works at the V&A(and in the Directorate especially) and you might hear a different story that has more to do with personal issues than Brexit…

M. Martin Roth a raison, sur toute la ligne. In other words, he is right all along! Mit meinen Respekt.

To Martin Roth.
Born in France in 1976, unconsciously influenced by the latter 60s period through my parents’ vivid memories and spirits, ‘You say you want a revolution’ has been for me an eye and conscience opener of what this generation has fought for and been able to achieve. So many rights hardly obtained while we are taking them as granted today. A wild and free creative abundance, a concentration of talents who looked at the world with a new conscious and kind look. It brought my parents nostalgia. It brought me hope and a sense of urgency for me and my generation to keep on changing the world, and save the planet we leave in. As i saw somewhere, human nature should be our race, love our religion, mother nature, our dear planet Earth, the respected and protected mother of all.
I hear that you will leave the V&A. Reading your foreword on the exhibition, I would have loved to meet the man. Wish you the very best. Sincerely. Vania Lacascade.

I am really sorry I could not say good bye to the great and very respectful director.Your contribution to our Museum has been undoubtedly
inestimable and remains unforgettable.

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