Monday, August 7, 2017

In Memory of Martin Roth - Under One Sun

Martin Roth - Photo: Under One Sun
(Venice, Italy) Martin Roth, one of the most dynamic museum directors on the planet, has died. I had the great good fortune to hear him speak on more than one occasion, so this news shocks and saddens me.


President of La Biennale di Venezia Paolo Baratta
remembers Martin Roth

Following the death of Martin Roth, President of La Biennale di Venezia Paolo Baratta remembers him with these words:

Martin Roth was an extraordinary man of culture endowed with a vital and visionary energy. The collaboration between La Biennale di Venezia and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, which he directed until last year, was born in a climate of generosity and enthusiasm. We remember him with deep affection and appreciation”.

Martin Roth was born in Stuttgart in 1955. He served as director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London from 2011 to 2016 and had been recently appointed President of the IfA, the German Institute of Foreign Relations.

Venice, August 7th, 2017

From The Guardian - Photograph: Nick Harvey/Rex/Shutterstock

From The Guardian:

Martin Roth, former V&A director, dies aged 62
First German to head major UK museum oversaw record visitor numbers but left V&A after disillusionment with Brexit vote

... Roth was the first German to head a major British museum, leaving the V&A in 2016 shortly after it won the museum of the year award. That victory meant that Roth, after five years in charge, could leave while the museum was on a high. However it was a decision also hastened by his disillusionment over the Brexit vote....

Under One Sun installation by Elvin Nabizade - Photo: Cat Bauer
Martin Roth was the co-curator of the Azerbaijan Pavilion for this year's Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition. The pavilion is entitled, "Under One Sun. The Art of Living Together, and you can find it in Palazzo Lezze in Campo Santo Stefano. Roth was passionate about different cultures coming together in harmony, and used the country of Azerbaijan, with its multicultural society, as an example of people who had mastered the art of living together in peace. "Azerbaijan is a perfect example of a complex society which promotes acceptance of different languages and cultural backgrounds...living together mostly in harmony and equality..." Roth was criticized for working with the country, which has been described as "authoritarian."

Go to the Azerbaijan Pavilion for more information about the exhibition.

Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
Back on October 17, 2014, I wrote a post entitled Top International Museum Directors Meet in Palazzo Ducale, Venice and highlighted what Martin Roth had to say:

Martin Roth, the Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, declared, "I believe in museums." He said a museum is never the same, and changes with the culture and politics. He said the V&A was a brilliant idea by Prince Albert, an ongoing World's Fair, and that a museum is an open institution for everyone; it belongs to us all -- from the taxi drivers, to the Queen, to the green grocer.

Since the UK has had such a huge influx of refugees, they have created exhibits to reflect those cultures -- "If you are a refugee, come to the V&A."

Roth said their Board of Trustees is completely independent, and he didn't like the US system where you buy yourself onto the Board. He said he had a friend in the US who was going to retire from a Board because it was "too dangerous." He said, "It's not supposed to be that way!"

Roth said the V&A was a local museum for a global audience, and that it attracted a lot of young people who came just to hang out. All museums in the UK are free. He said, "A museum is never a business, but you can run it business-like."
Click to read the entire post:

Top International Museum Directors Meet in Palazzo Ducale, Venice


Martin Roth made a deep impression on me. He was outspoken and courageous, with strong opinions and original thought that shocked the system. In a world that seems to have fallen asleep, I thought he was refreshing. Rest with the angels.

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat Bauer
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

1 comment:

  1. Martin Roth made a deep impression on me. He was outspoken and courageous, with strong opinions and original thought that shocked the system. In a world that seems to have fallen asleep, I thought he was refreshing. Rest with the angels.

    ReplyDelete

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