Art Fund Prize: Judges Factfile

  • 14 November 2011

The judging panel for the Art Fund Prize 2012 has been announced, chaired by former culture secretary Lord Smith of Finsbury. Get to know the seven judges better with our fact file.

Charlotte Higgins, Art Fund Prize Judge © Nana Varveropoulu

Charlotte Higgins, Art Fund Prize Judge

The judging panel for the Art Fund Prize 2012 has been announced, chaired by former culture secretary Lord Smith of Finsbury. Get to know the seven judges better with our fact file.

Chris Smith (Lord Smith of Finsbury)

Chris Smith is a former Member of Parliament for Islington South and Finsbury, and was Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport from 1997 to 2001. He became Britain’s first openly homosexual MP in 1984 and, as culture secretary under Tony Blair, he pushed through a tax rebate which allowed many of Britain’s national museums to offer free admission.

Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE

Born in Baghdad, Jim Al-Khalili is a theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster whose work has explored black holes, the possibility of time travel, quantum mechanics and the history of Arabic science. As one of twenty-one people chosen to be the ‘Faces of UK Science’, his portrait is on permanent exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. He also featured on the Art Fund Prize judging panel in 2011, and can be followed on Twitter at @jimalkhalili.

Charlotte Higgins

Returning to the Art Fund Prize judging panel for her second consecutive year, Charlotte Higgins is the chief arts writer for the Guardian, and prior to that was the paper’s classical music editor. She is also a published author whose books include Latin Love Lessons, an exploration of the works of the Latin poet Ovid. She posts on Twitter under the name @chiggi.

Lucy Worsley

Reading-born Dr Lucy Worsley is Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, the organisation responsible for – among others – Kensington Palace and Kew Palace. As well as curating, Worsley is the author of a number of history books and a television presenter whose programmes have included histories of the King James Bible and the British home. She recently joined Twitter as @Lucy_Worsley.

Sir Mark Jones

Art historian Mark Jones’s accomplishments have included overseeing the creation of the National Museum of Scotland, a ten-year tenure as Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum and being elected Master of Saint Cross College, Oxford. He is also a widely published writer on medals and museums.

Rick Mather

Rick Mather is an American-born architect who has worked in England since 1963. He founded Rick Mather Architects in 1973, a Camden-based practice specialising in the culture and education sectors. His architectural style is notable for its extensive use of structural glass and natural lighting. He is a former Trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and his past works include the National Maritime Museum building.

Lisa Milroy

Lisa Milroy is a Canadian painter working in the UK, whose art is characterised by an interest in depicting collections of everyday items – clothes, shoes and vases arranged in collections. In 1989 she was awarded the John Moores Painting Prize and in 2009 was elected Head of Graduate Painting at London’s Slade School of Fine Art.