Amanda Levete joins tributes as Martin Roth dies aged 62
The Victoria & Albert Museum has paid tribute to its former director Martin Roth, who has died at the age of 62, saluting his work on its new Dundee base and applauding an exhibition showcasing the career of Ove Arup.
Museum chairman Nicholas Coleridge named the V&A’s “Engineering the World: Ove Arup” exhibition among highlights from Roth’s five-year tenure at the helm of the museum, and praised his stewardship of the organisation’s own architectural work.
Roth, whose death was announced on Monday, was appointed as V&A director after Kengo Kuma won the design competition for its V&A Museum of Design Dundee, but oversaw much of the development of the scheme, which is set to open to the public at a cost of £80m next year.
As Coleridge recognised, Roth was also in post for much of the delivery of Amanda Levete’s Exhibition Road Quarter extension to the V&A’s London base, as well as the development of Fumihiko Maki’s Shekou Design Museum in Shenzen, China.
“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,” the chairman said.
“As director of the V&A for just over five years, Martin made it his mission to raise the international profile of the museum.
“Martin was the impetus behind initiatives such as the V&A’s presence at the Venice Biennale. He was instrumental in the founding of the V&A Research Institute, and was closely involved in the expansion of the museum’s footprint to Dundee and Shekou, as well as recent openings of the European Galleries 1600-1815 and the V&A Exhibition Road Quarter.
“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.”
Amanda Levete’s AL_A practice said Roth had been “an engaged and supportive client – one of the great museum directors of our time”.
Roth was appointed V&A director in late 2011 as successor to Mark Jones. He left last year following the EU referendum.