The V&A has paid tribute to its former director Martin Roth, who has died in Berlin, aged 62.
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.
Nicholas Coleridge, the chairman of the V&A, said the museum was extremely saddened to hear of Roth’s death. He said: “Martin will be remembered as a man of prodigious energy, a director with a global reputation both within the museum world and beyond, a committed Europhile and cultural ambassador with a philosophical turn of mind, as well as a devoted husband and father.”
Coleridge said Roth had made it his mission to raise the international profile of the museum. Initiatives under his leadership included a presence at the Venice Biennale, the expansion of the museum to China, Dundee and east London, the founding of the V&A research unit, and the opening of restored galleries devoted to European arts and crafts of 1600-1815.
“This, combined with exhibitions such as David Bowie Is, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, Disobedient Objects and Engineering the World: Ove Arup, raised the V&A to new heights,” he said. “We will greatly miss Martin, and are profoundly grateful for his considerable contribution to the V&A.” read more