Graduate profile: Catherine Sargent - International exhibitions with the V&A

I am currently an Exhibition Manager at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the national museum of art, design and performance. I’ve been working at the V&A since 2014 when I started as an Exhibition Assistant. The V&A runs a huge programme of exhibitions, both at the museum, and as part of our national and international touring programmes, and it is the responsibility of my team to ensure that they all take place seamlessly.

In my role, I have responsibility for the successful delivery of the international tour of ‘You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-70’. This exhibition was on at the V&A from September 2016 – February 2017, and since then it has travelled to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan. It is a hugely dynamic exhibition, with a large audiovisual element, and a full sound experience provided by our sound partner, Sennheiser. My role in this project is primarily working with the partner venues hosting the exhibition on the design and delivery of this exciting, multi-media exhibition. Alongside this, I manage the transport to and from the venue, and logistics of installation and subsequent de-installation. When the exhibition arrives at a venue, I lead a team from the V&A to install all of the objects, including the condition checking of all the exciting items on display. In this case, we have a large amount of textiles from the 1960s, including some very special outfits from The Beatles.

Working at the V&A on such a diverse programme of exhibitions gives a huge amount of opportunity to improve my skills and work with colleagues from a variety of disciplines. As well as my responsibility on my exhibition project, I have also had the opportunity to support the installation of exhibitions like Ocean Liners and The Future Starts Here at the V&A, and I have installed exhibitions across the world, including David Bowie is at Brooklyn Museum, and the Jameel Prize in Gwangju, South Korea.

Before I worked at the V&A, I interned at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto as a Collection Assistant, and worked for a year at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green in their Collections and Curatorial Department. My role there was a direct result of my placement at the end of my Masters in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, and it was a great museum to learn a great variety of skills. The University of Leicester gave me the necessary skills to set out on a career in Exhibitions, and the network of people who could support me on my path.

Catherine Sargent
Exhibition Manager V&A
MA Museum Studies 2011-12