As several galleries celebrate birthdays, Hettie Judah speaks to Barbican Stories and directors of BALTIC, ICA, Midlands Art Centre and Yorkshire Sculpture Park about founding principles and future plans
It’s a bumper anniversary year for British arts institutions. In London, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) turns 75 and the Barbican 40, the Midlands Art Centre (MAC) in Birmingham will be 60, Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) 45, and BALTIC in Gateshead, the baby of the bunch, turns 20. After 12 years of austerity and pandemic funding cuts, no one’s splurging on Urs Fischer party candles or Keith Haring bunting. Still, it feels a moment worth marking, if only to ask how these institutions’ founding principles are holding up. Have they aged – in the best possible way – disgracefully?
Pic: Baltic Building