Our trustees' primary role is to oversee the effective working of Art Fund; they also consider all applications from museums and galleries for grants towards the purchase of works of art, and offers of gifts as well as bequests.
The board is predominantly made up of art and museum experts, along with recognised specialists in other fields such as marketing, finance and fundraising. Since July 2014 the Art Fund board has been led by Lord Smith of Finsbury, formerly secretary of state for culture, media and sport.
The board is supported in its work by the Finance and General Purposes Committee, which a number of trustees attend along with non-trustee advisory members, Ruth Jarratt and Brendan Finucane QC. The work of the Finance and General Purposes Committee is led by our treasurer, Jeremy Palmer.
Chris Smith entered parliament in 1983 as an MP for the Labour Party, defeating George Cunningham to win the seat of Islington South & Finsbury. Before his appointment as the UK's first secretary of state for culture, media and sport (1997–2001), Smith held positions as the shadow treasury minister from 1987 to 1992, and shadowed the environment, heritage, pensions and health portfolios between 1992 and 1997.
During his time in cabinet, Smith secured additional funding and a tax rebate in order to restore free admission to all of Britain's national museums and galleries. He also began the Renaissance in the Regions programme for regional museums, and brought in major changes to the acceptance-in-lieu scheme. He stepped down from parliament in 2005 and was made a life peer later that year, as Lord Smith of Finsbury in the London Borough of Islington.
Since his retirement from politics, Smith has served as chair of the London Cultural Consortium (2005–2008), and was the founding director of the Clore Leadership Programme, which was established to develop new leaders for the cultural sector. He is chairman of the Wordsworth Trust and an honorary fellow of Pembroke College Cambridge, and chaired the judging panel for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2012.
Positions include: Member of Parliament, 1983-2005; Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport 1997-2001; Founding Director, Clore Leadership Programme, 2003-2008; Chairman, Environment Agency, 2008-2014; Chairman, Advertising Standards Authority, 2007-2017; Chairman, Wordsworth Trust, 2003-2017; Non-executive Director, Phonographic Performance Ltd; Board Member, The Sixteen Limited. Lord Smith became Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge University, in October 2015.
Positions include: CEO, QuantumBlack, an advanced analytics company that operates at the intersection of technology, strategy and design; Senior Advisor, McKinsey. Voluntary roles include: Chair, Career Ready, a national charity working with schools and employers to prepare young people for work; Chair, East London Arts and Music, a new school focused on equipping students for careers in the creative industries. Jeremy Palmer has 10 years of experience building digital and technology businesses, preceded by over 30 years’ experience in financial services, working for Salomon Brothers, JP Morgan, ING Barings, where he was Chair and CEO, Asia Pacific, and UBS, where he was Chair and CEO, Europe, Middle East and Africa until 2008.
Positions include: Exhibitions Organiser, Tramway, 1993-1995; Exhibitions Curator, Tate Liverpool, 1996-1997; Curator and Deputy Director, Dundee Contemporary Arts, 1997-2007; Director, Glasgow International Festival of Art, 2010 and 2012; Associate Curator, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, 2008-2013; Associate Curator for ‘GENERATION: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland’, 2014. Katrina Brown is founding Director of The Common Guild, Glasgow.
Positions include: Professor at the Kuntsakadamie Dusseldorf and ENSBA, Paris; Trustee of Tate; member of the British Council, Grants to Artists Sub Committee and Vice Chair of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts Trust, and one of the judges for Museum of the Year 2017. Exhibitions include: retrospective at Tate Britain, 2014; ten year survey On the Other Side, Kuntsmuseum Winterhur, Switzerland, 2015, at the Heydar Aleyev Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan, and the Langen Foundation, Neuss, Germany 2016; retrospective of drawings 1968-2016, Folkwang Museum, Essen, 2016 ; solo shows at San Diego Museum of Fine Art, Prague City Gallery, Middelheim Museum, and Ernst Vogelmann Kunsthalle, 2017. Upcoming. Winner of the Turner Prize in 1987, awarded the Robert Jakobsen Prize, Museum Wurth, Kunzelsau, Germany in 1995, and awarded the Ernst Vogelmann Prize for Sculpture in 2017. In 2007 Richard Deacon was one of three artists representing Wales at the Venice Biennale. Publications include 'So', 'If', and 'But', 2014.
Positions include: Chair, Scott Trust 1993-2017; Chair National Youth Orchestra 2012-present; Chair Bristol Old Vic 2012-present; Deputy Chair British Museum 2008-2016; Chair Arts Council England 2008-2012; Chair Heritage Lottery Fund 1999-2008; Chair Churches Conservation Trust 1994-1998; Managing Director BBC Network Radio 1990-1993; Director of Programmes Channel 4 TV 1981-1990. Honorary Fellow, British Academy.
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Positions include: Trustee, Museum of Freemasonry, 2017-present; Member, Reviewing Committee for the Export of Works of Art, 2010-2018; Senior Research Fellow, V&A, 2005-2008; Academic Director, Waddesdon Manor (Rothschild Collection) 1999-2003; Associate Curator Gilbert Collection 2000-2003; Keeper of Metalwork, V&A 1989-1999; Assistant Keeper, V&A 1980-1989; Head of Tudor & Stuart Dept, Museum of London 1972-1980; Assistant Curator, London Museum, 1966-1972. Publications include 'London in Maps', 1972; 'Silver in Tudor & Early Stuart England', 1990; 'The Art of Drink', 2007.
Positions include: Society of Antiquaries trustee of the British Museum, 2018-present; Professor of European Archaeology, University of Oxford 2006-present; Chairman of the Wainwright Fund, 2010-2015; Chairman of Trustees of Oxford Archaeology, 2010-present; Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, 2007-present; Emeritus Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford, 2006-present; Fellow of the British Academy, 2005.
Positions include: Keeper of Prints and Drawings, British Museum, 1991-2011; Founding Member of Print Quarterly 1984 and Chairman of Print Quarterly Publications 1993; Chairman of the Walpole Society; Trustee of the Henry Moore Foundation; Fellow of the British Academy, 2000; Slade Professor of Fine Art, Oxford University, 2015. Publications include 'Prints for Books: Book Illustration in France 1760-1800', 2004, and 'The Print Before Photography: An Introduction to European Printmaking 1550-1820', 2016.
Positions include: Curator, Collins Gallery, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, 1982-1988; Head of Visual Arts, Glasgow, 1988-1991; Director, Arnolfini, Bristol, 1991-1999; Director, The Scottish Arts Council, 1999-2002; Chief Executive & Founding Artistic Director, Artes Mundi, Wales, 2002-2010; Chief Executive, Iniva – Institute of International Visual Arts, 2009-2015; Trustee, Centre of Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester, 2015-present; Trustee, Spike Island, 2016 – present. Since 2015 Tessa Jackson has been working independently as a curator, artistic programme advisor, writer and mentor within the arts and heritage sectors.
Positions include: Turner Prize-nominated artist and filmmaker, and cofounder of Sankofa Film and Video Collective. Early works include; Young Soul Rebels (1991), (awarded the Semaine de la Critique Prize at the Cannes Film Festival); the acclaimed documentary-drama, Looking for Langston (1989); and Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask (1996). Isaac Julien pioneered a form of multi-screen installations with works such as Western Union: Small Boats (2007), Ten Thousand Waves (2010) and Playtime (2014). He was a participant in the 56th Biennale di Venezia curated by Okwui Enwezor (2015) and has exhibited his work in major museums and institutions across the world. In 2013, a monographic survey of his career to date, 'Riot', was published by MoMA, NY.
Positions include: Curator of Pictures & Sculpture, The National Trust, 1986-2012; Eugene Thaw Fellow, Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, 2015; Getty Museum Scholar, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, 2017. Exhibitions include Beatrix Potter at Tate Gallery and the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, 1987-1988; François Boucher, New York, Detroit, & Paris, 1986-87; The Drawings of François Boucher, The Frick Collection, New York & The Kimbell Art Institute, Fort Worth, 2003-4. Publications include: Baroque & Rococo (with Anthony Blunt), 1978; Drawings for Architecture, Design, and Ornament: The James A. de Rothschild Bequest, Waddesdon Manor (with Martin Meade), 2006; the catalogues of the two above-named Boucher exhibitions; Oil Paintings in National Trust Properties (6 volumes), The Public Catalogue Foundation, 2013; Boucher’s Drawings: Who and What Were They For? (the inaugural Annual Thaw Lecture, 2015).
Positions include: Senior Research Professor, Norwich University of the Arts, 2018-present; Professor Emerita in History of Art, University of Manchester 2003-present; The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art Advisory Board 1998-2004 and 2006-2011; Tate Britain Council 2004-2007; Pilkington Professor of History of Art, University of Manchester 1992-2003; Professor of History of Art, University of Sussex 1989-1992. Her scholarly specialisms include the history of portraiture, Pre-Raphaelitism, painting in 19th-century France and the history of jewels. Her most recent books are Brilliant Effects: A Cultural History of Gem Stones and Jewellery, 2009 and Portrayal and the Search for Identity, 2013. She is a member of the National Portrait Gallery's research advisory group.
Positions include: Chief Executive, Royal Academy, 2019-present; Director, Van Gogh Museum, 2006-present; Fellow, Clore Leadership Programme, 2004-2006; Curator of Dutch Paintings 1600-1800, The National Gallery, 1999-2006. Exhibitions which he organised include Vermeer and the Delft School at the National Gallery, London (with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2001) and Aelbert Cuyp (with the National Gallery of Art, Washington and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 2002).
Positions include: Chair of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance; Non-executive director of Imagen; Independent director Next Mediaworks Plc (India); Board member, Committee for Standards in Public Life; Member, Ofcom Content Board; Member, Office for Students Board; Member, Queens Counsel Appointments Panel. Former positions include Trustee, Tate, 2007-2015, and Trustee, National Gallery 2013-2015; Trustee, Foundling Museum; and Trustee, ArtUK. Monisha’s last executive role was with BBC Worldwide, 2000-2010, where she was Director of Sales for Emerging Markets, including Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. Monisha has a post-graduate degree from SOAS, and an executive MBA from the London Business School. She was elected Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in February 2009.
Positions include: Fellow of the British Academy, 2008; Leverhulme Emeritus Fellow, 2016-2018; Visiting Professor, Courtauld Institute of Art, 2007-2014 and Honorary Professor at the Courtauld Institute of Art, 2014-present; Emeritus Professor of Art History, Middlesex University, 2007-; Blue Plaques Panel, English Heritage 2007-2015. Publications include The Spectacle of Women: Imagery of the Suffrage campaign 1907-1914, 1988 and Modern Life and Modern Subjects: British Art in the Early Twentieth Century, 2000.
Positions include: Chairman, Eon Productions, 1979-present; Emeritus Trustee and formerly Chair of the Science Museum Foundation. Publications include contributions to 100 Greatest Photographs, 2006; Pictorialism in California: Photographs 1900-1940, Getty Publications, 1994.