Thank you for posting this, Colin.

The V&A's collection of musical instruments is not huge, but the quality of 
every item makes this one of the world's major collections. The V&A has been 
from its beginnings essentially a museum of applied arts. The presence of 
musical instruments, each of which displays the highest quality of manufacture 
and decoration, would seem to promote this purpose. However this is not the 
view of the current director, Sir Mark Jones, who has taken the decision to 
remove the collection from view and place it into storage. Collections rarely 
revive from such permanent hibernation and the effects of this move are likely 
to be irrevocable.

The fine catalogue of the collection is likely to be O/P . Its non-keyboard 
section was written by Anthony Baines, well known to pipers as the author of 
'Bagpipes', perhaps the most highly regarded book on the subject. Incidentally 
Hugh Cheape adopted the same title for his own excellent book (largely on 
Scottish pipes) as a homage to this earlier work.

Signing the petition (link in Colin's mail) will not prevent the closure which 
is imminent, but it will indicate displeasure and is worth doing for that 

On 22 Jan 2010, at 22:14, colin wrote:

> I haven't seen this mentioned here but we made noises (and still are) when 
> the bagpipe museum faced something similar.
> The information on the petition page says:
> "The V & A are intending to place in long-term storage its collection of 
> historic musical instruments, which is unparalleled in the UK. The reason for 
> this destruction, given by a V & A spokesman, is so that "the gallery can be 
> redesigned to show the fashion collections." Musical instruments have been 
> part of the collection since its inception in 1851: the museum has received 
> adverse comment on this plan from curators worldwide. The removal is to take 
> place in Spring 2010, and is a short-term decision which will have long-term 
> negative results for scholars and music lovers alike.".
> Although not strictly pipes-based, I feel it's a further step to downgrading 
> our musical heritage and the importance of the tradition of music and thought 
> those on this list may wish to sign. Several other music lists I am on have 
> done so already so sorry if this is a repeat.
> If anyone would like to sign the petition, it's at:
> Colin Hill
> To get on or off this list see list information at

Reply via email to