Meet our trustees

Our trustees ensure that the money we raise is used in the best possible way to support museums and galleries.

Our trustees' primary role is to oversee the effective working of the 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.

Find out about our Advisory Council


Lord Smith of Finsbury

Elected 2014
Positions include: member of parliament, 1983-2005; secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport, 1997-2001; founding director, Clore Leadership Programme, 2003-08; chairman, Environment Agency, 2008-14; chairman, Advertising Standards Authority, 2007-present; chairman, Wordsworth Trust; non-executive director, Phonographic Performance Ltd; Board Member, The Sixteen Limited. Lord Smith became Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge University, in October 2015.


Jeremy Palmer

Elected 2014
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 arts; chair, Advisory Board of Oxford University Medicine. Jeremy has over 30 years’ experience in financial services, working for Salomon Brothers, JP Morgan and ING Baring. Most recently he was chair and CEO, Europe, Middle East and Africa at UBS until 2008.

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Caroline Butler

Elected 2009
Positions include: director, Walcot Partners Limited, 2012-present; trustee, Pilgrim Trust; associate fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford; Advisory Board member, Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Fund; director, PAN Holding, Luxembourg, 2008-12; chairman of China Children and Teenagers Fund – UK Council, 2006-present; director, Lord North Street Limited Private Investment Office, 2004-11; managing director, head of Private Wealth Management, Deutsche Bank London, 2001-04.

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Richard Calvocoressi CBE

Elected 2008
Positions include: director and senior curator, Gagosian Gallery, London, 2015-present; director, The Henry Moore Foundation, 2007-15; keeper, then director, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 1987-2007. Publications include: Lucian Freud on Paper, 2008. Exhibitions include: Lee Miller, National Portrait Gallery, 2005.

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Professor Richard Deacon CBE RA

Elected 2015
Former positions include: professor, Kuntsakadamie Dusseldorf and ENSBA, Paris; trustee, Tate; member, British Council Grants to Artists Sub Committee; vice chair, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts Trust. Exhibitions include: retrospective, Tate Britain, 2014; ten year survey, On the Other Side, Kuntsmuseum Winterhur, Switzerland, 2015 and Heydar Aleyev Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan and Langen Foundation, Neuss, Germany, 2016. Retrospective of drawings 1968-2016, Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany. Winner of the Turner Prize, 1987 and awarded the Robert Jakobsen Prize, Museum Wurth, Kunzelsau, Germany, 1995. In 2007 Richard was one of three artists representing Wales at the Venice Biennale. Publications include: So, If, and But, 2014.

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Dame Liz ​Forgan

Elected 2012
Positions include: chair, Scott Trust ,1993-present; chair, National Youth Orchestra, 2012-present; chair, Bristol Old Vic, 2012-present; deputy chair, British Museum, 2008-present; chair, Arts Council England, 2008-12; chair, Heritage Lottery Fund, 1999-2008; chair, Churches Conservation Trust, 1994-98; managing director, BBC Network Radio, 1990-93; director of programmes, Channel 4 TV, 1981-90; honorary fellow, British Academy.

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Philippa Glanville ​FSA OBE

Elected 2011
​Positions include: senior research fellow, V&A, 2005-08; academic director, Waddesdon Manor (Rothschild Collection), 1999-2003; associate curator, Gilbert Collection, 2000-03; keeper of metalwork, V&A, 1989-99; assistant keeper, V&A, 1980-89; head of Tudor and Stuart department, Museum of London, 1972-80; assistant curator, London Museum, 1966-72. Publications include: London in Maps, 1972; Silver in Tudor & Early Stuart England, 1990; The Art of Drink, 2007.

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Professor Chris Gosden FBA

Elected 2010
Positions include: professor of European Archaeology, University of Oxford, 2006-present; chairman, Wainwright Fund, 2010-15; chairman of trustees, Oxford Archaeology, 2010-present; fellow, Society of Antiquaries, 2007-present; emeritus fellow, St Cross College, Oxford, 2006-present; fellow, British Academy, 2005.

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Professor Antony Griffiths FBA

Elected 2010
Positions include: deputy keeper then keeper, prints and drawings, British Museum, 1991-2011; founding member, Print Quarterly, 1984 and chairman, Print Quarterly Publications, 1993; fellow, British Academy, 2000; Slade professor of Fine Art, Oxford University, 2015. Publications include: Prints for Books: Book Illustration in France 1760-1800, 2004; The Print Before Photography: An Introduction to European Printmaking 1550-1820, August 2016.

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Isaac Julien

Elected 2016
Isaac Julien is a Turner Prize-nominated artist and filmmaker. Early works include Young Soul Rebels (1991), which was awarded the Semaine de la Critique Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the acclaimed poetic documentary Looking for Langston (1989) and Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask (1996). Julien has pioneered a form of multi-screen installations with works such as Western Union: Small Boats (2007), Ten Thousand Waves (2010) and Playtime: Kapital (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.

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Alastair Laing FSA

Elected 2012
Positions include: curator of pictures and sculpture, National Trust, 1986-2012; Eugene Thaw fellow, Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, 2015. Exhibitions include: Beatrix Potter, Tate Gallery and Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, 1987-88. Publications include: Boucher’s Drawings: Who and What Were They For? (the inaugural annual Thaw Lecture), 2015, and catalogues of the following exhibitions: François Boucher in New York, Detroit, and Paris, 1986-87; In Trust for the Nation, National Gallery, 1995-96; The Drawings of François Boucher, in New York and Fort Worth, 2003-04.

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James Lingwood MBE

Elected 2008
Positions include: trustee, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, 2003-present; co-director, Artangel, 1991-present; curator, Institute of Contemporary Arts, 1986-90; honorary fellow, Goldsmiths College. Publications include: Juan Muñoz, Double Bind & Around, 2015; Cristina Iglesias, Tres Aguas, 2014; Yael Bartana, And Europe will be Stunned, 2012; Thomas Struth Photographs, 2010.

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Professor Marcia Pointon

Elected 2014
Positions include: 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 2006-11; Tate Britain Council, 2004-2007; Pilkington professor of History of Art, University of Manchester, 1992-2003; professor of History of Art, University of Sussex, 1989-92. Marcia’s scholarly specialisms include the history of portraiture, Pre-Raphaelitism, painting in 19th-century France and the history of jewels. Publications include: Brilliant Effects: A Cultural History of Gem Stones and Jewellery, 2009; Portrayal and the Search for Identity, 2013. She is a member of the Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum's International Advisory Board and the National Portrait Gallery's research advisory group.

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​Axel Rüger

Elected 2015
Positions include: director, Van Gogh Museum, 2006-present; fellow, Clore Leadership Programme, 2004-06; curator of Dutch paintings 1600-1800, National Gallery, 1999-2006. Exhibitions include: Vermeer and the Delft School, National Gallery, London (with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), 2001; Aelbert Cuyp, National Gallery, London (with National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), 2002.

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​Monisha Shah

Elected 2017
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.
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.

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Professor Lisa Tickner FBA

Elected 2010
Positions include: fellow, British Academy, 2008; visiting professor, Courtauld Institute of Art, 2007-14; honorary professor, Courtauld Institute of Art, 2014-present; emeritus professor of Art History, Middlesex University, 2007-present; Blue Plaques Panel, English Heritage, 2007-15. Publications include: The Spectacle of Women: Imagery of the Suffrage campaign 1907-1914, 1988; Modern Life and Modern Subjects: British Art in the Early Twentieth Century, 2000.

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Michael G Wilson OBE

Elected 2010
Positions include: managing director, Eon Productions, 1979-present; emeritus trustee and former chair, Science Museum Foundation. Publications include: contributions to 100 Greatest Photographs, 2006; Pictorialism in California: Photographs 1900-1940, Getty Publications, 1994.

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Advisory Council

The opinion and expertise of members of the Advisory Council is drawn upon when additional specialist knowledge is required by the board of trustees.

  • Professor Brian Allen FSA
  • Sir David Attenborough OM CH CVO CBE FRS
  • John Ayers
  • Professor Malcolm Baker FSA
  • Dr Geoffrey Beard OBE FSA
  • Sir Alan Bowness CBE
  • Dr Andrew Burnett FBA
  • John Cherry FSA
  • Joe Earle
  • Sir Nicholas Goodison FBA FSA
  • Professor Mark Haworth-Booth OBE
  • Simon Swynfen Jervis FSA
  • Professor Michael Kauffmann FBA FSA FMA
  • Santina Levey FSA
  • Jeremy Lewison
  • Professor John Mack FSA
  • Jeremy Montagu FSA
  • Richard Morphet CBE
  • Professor Dame Jessica Rawson DLitt FBA
  • Sir Hugh Roberts KCVO FSA
  • Professor Michael Rogers FBA FSA
  • Sam Sachs II
  • Robert Skelton OBE
  • Lord Stewartby PC RD LittD FBA FRSE FSA
  • Richard Temple
  • Dr Jon Whiteley
  • Christopher Wilk

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