V&A East: A New Storehouse and Museum with Dr Gus Casely-Hayford

An Artist’s Impression of the V&A East © Diller Scofidio + Renfro, 2018

When: Tuesday 9 November, 18.00-19.30

Venue: Clore Lecture Theatre, Clore Management Centre, Birkbeck, Torrington Square, London, WC1E 7JL.

Tickets for this events will be released soon.

V&A East is a new cultural institution that  builds on the V&A’s long-standing history in east London and our founding mission to make the arts accessible to all. We want to amplify the role museums play as platforms for discovery, hope and conversation in our rapidly changing world, and we will craft a creative campus, a social space with a global outlook that is truly embedded within its local community.  We want to create relaxed and inclusive spaces, to welcome people who may not have felt museums were for them in the past, to empower young people – not only by radically increasing access to the cultural industries and opening up our national collections – but by bringing them with us on the journey.  

Dr Gus Casely-Hayford, OBE, Prof by Practice (SOAS), the founding Director of V&A East, a museum and collection centre presently under construction. He was previously the Director of the Smithsonian, National Museum of African Art and is a curator and cultural historian who writes, lectures and broadcasts widely on culture. 

Over the course of his career, Casely-Hayford has been a constant champion for the arts. He has presented two television series of The Lost Kingdoms of Africa for the BBC (and wrote the companion book), two television series of Tate Britain: Great Art Walks for Sky and has worked for every major British TV channel. His TED talk on Islamic culture has been viewed more than a million times. Former Executive Director of Arts Strategy, Arts Council England, (Britain’s major Art’s funder) and Ex-Director of the Institute of International Contemporary Art, he has offered leadership to both large and medium scale organizations. Dr Casely-Hayford has lectured widely on art and culture, including periods at Sotheby’s Institute, Goldsmiths, Birkbeck, City University, University of Westminster and SOAS. He has advised national and international bodies on heritage and culture including the United Nations and the Canadian, Dutch and Norwegian Arts Councils. In 2005 he deployed these leadership, curatorial, fundraising and communications skills to organise the biggest celebration of Africa Britain has ever hosted with Africa 2005 when more than 150 organisations put on over 1000 exhibitions and events to showcase African culture.

Amongst a range of honours, he has also been awarded a Kings College cultural fellowship for service to the arts and a SOAS Honorary Fellowship for service to Africa. He speaks widely, gave a SOAS Centenary lecture, judged the Art Fund’s British Museum of the Year award, advised the Royal Shakespeare Company on their production of Hamlet and is a member of English Heritage’s ‘Blue Plaques Group’.


Forthcoming dates for your diary

Book launch and panel discussion, The Avant-Garde Museum

When: Thursday 2 December, 18.00-20:00
Venue: Online.

Tickets and more information about this event will be released soon.