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The Vice-Chancellor's Distinguished Lecture Series – Dr Tristram Hunt

Elgar, Elgar Concert Hall, Bramall Music Building (R12)
Lectures Talks and Workshops
Tuesday 11th February 2020 (18:00-19:00)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)
Dr Tristram Hunt

As part of the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Lecture series, the University is delighted to welcome Dr Tristram Hunt, Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum and Former Shadow Secretary of State for Education. 

'The Civic and the Global:The V&A and the cultural mission of museums'

Dr Tristram Hunt is the Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London – the world's leading museum of art, design and performance. Prior to joining the V&A, Dr Hunt was MP for Stoke‐on‐Trent Central and Shadow Secretary of State for Education. His doctorate is in Victorian history from Cambridge University and he has written several books, including 'Ten Cities That Made an Empire' (2014).

We asked Tristram a couple of questions to pique your interest:

What sparked your interest in Art?
I have always been interested in Art, but during my time in Stoke‐on‐Trent – the home of British ceramics – I developed a real passion for craft and the decorative arts. It has been a pleasure to maintain and strengthen the museum's links with the Potteries in my current role.

Do you have a favourite piece of art and what does it mean to you?
My favourite painting is Ford Madox Brown's Work which hangs in Manchester Art Gallery. It celebrates not only the virtue of labour, but also the power of intellect. In this highly complex narrative cycle – which all takes place in Hampstead – Brown depicts industriousness in all its facets, but in a manner laden with subversion.

What is your main mission for the V&A as its Director?
I am focused on supporting design education; transforming our Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green; opening up debate around the colonial origins of some of our collections; and moving to a multi‐site future with V&A museums in Dundee, Stratford, and Shenzhen.

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This lecture forms part of The Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Lecture Series, which aims to reflect on the major social, scientific, cultural and policy issues of our time.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities