Smithsonian Will Expand to London
The Smithsonian is partnering with the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) to establish a permanent gallery in a new cultural complex in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the site of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The two museums will share a jointly curated space, the V&A East, as well as have their own gallery for temporary exhibitions. This is the first time in the Smithsonian’s 170-year history that the institution has committed to an exhibition venue in another country.
“Two major cultural institutions in two different countries are coming together in a physical, ongoing space to collaborate,” said Secretary David J. Skorton when the partnership was announced on June 13, 2016. “We can build bridges to other countries and continents and share our work with the world. We will engage with diverse audiences in innovative ways.”
Skorton anticipates that the permanent gallery space will have broad global significance and draw from both organizations’ collections and expertise in science and the arts and humanities and where they intersect.
“What we learn through this collaboration will enable us to better tell our stories not only in London, but in the United States and around the world,” he said
Private funds will support Smithsonian exhibitions and programs, as well as funding from the Foundation for FutureLondon, a new charity established for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The complex is expected to open in 2021.