Tributes Pour in Honoring Former V&A Design Chief Moira Gemmill, Killed in Bike Accident

The British art industry is mourning the unexpected death of Moira Gemmill, who was killed last week in a road accident in central London. While cycling to work, she was involved with a collision with a truck at a roundabout.

Scottish-born Gemmill, who was 55 years old, had recently left her position as head of design at London’s V&A Museum, where she had worked for 13 years.

In February, she had taken up a new position as director of capital programs at the Royal Trust Collection, for which, according to the Scotsman, “she was rumored to have been handpicked by Her Majesty the Queen.”

“In her very short time with us, Moira had become both a good friend and a highly respected colleague, and we shall miss her very greatly,” Jonathan Marsden, director of the Royal Trust Collection said in a statement.

“She had such tremendous energy and really believed in bringing more women into architecture because there were so few,” Christine Murray, editor of the Architectural Review, was quoted in the Evening Standard.

During her tenure at the V&A, Gemmill had been involved in the refurbishment of the Medieval & Renaissance Galleries, Weston Cast Court, and the Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art, among many other development projects (see Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel Receives Honorary Knighthood from the Prince of Wales).

“We are devastated to hear of the tragic death of our much-loved and respected colleague of many years, Moira Gemmill,” Martin Roth, current director of the V&A, said on a statement. “During her 13-year career at the V&A she made an extraordinary impact in transforming the museum’s galleries and facilities,” he said.

Gemmill was also the project leader for the new V&A Museum of Design Dundee, slated to be completed in 2017 (see V&A Dundee Appoints Contractor Amidst Blacklisting Controversy).


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