Case studies

Meet the latest recipients of the Headley Fellowships with Art Fund

L-R: Georgina Grant, Jody Joy, Natalie Murray, and Martin Pel
L-R: Georgina Grant, Jody Joy, Natalie Murray, and Martin Pel

Four museum curators based in Sussex, Shropshire, Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire will benefit from time and resources to carry out research projects which deepen collections expertise.

Today we announced the successful recipients of the second round of the Headley Fellowships with Art Fund. This three-year programme was launched in 2018 by The Headley Trust and Art Fund to allow curators to take time away from their day-to-day responsibilities to focus on in-depth collections research, with funding provided to backfill their posts.

The programme responds to research published by Art Fund in 2017 which found that almost three-quarters of museum curators (72%) spent less than 15% of their time on collections research.

Previous recipient Joanne Anderson, curator at the Great North Museum Hancock, says: 'My Headley Fellowship has been a fantastic opportunity. For the first time, I have been able to study in-depth a wonderful collection. In the process, I have enhanced existing skills and developed new ones.'

The four curators selected this year are:

  • Jody Joy, Senior Curator at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge, who will be researching archaeology in Cambridgeshire

  • Martin Pel, Curator of Fashion and Textiles at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, who will be researching the influence of British artist Martin Battersby on Brighton Museum

  • Georgina Grant, Senior Curator at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Shropshire, who will be researching the Coalbrookdale Company orders

  • Natalie Murray, Collections and Exhibitions Manager at Barnsley Museums, who will be researching the French paintings and drawings of the Cooper Gallery Collection

Helen McLeod of The Headley Trust, says: 'The Headley Fellowships with Art Fund provide a unique opportunity for some of the UK’s most talented curators. With this support, they can take time away from the growing day-to-day pressures of their roles to focus on research that will lead to new ways to engage the public with their collections and make connections with their peers in the museum world. We congratulate the four new beneficiaries on their exciting news and look forward to following their progress in the coming months.'

Sarah Philp, Art Fund's director of programme and policy, says: 'The UK has some of the richest museum collections in the world, but there are still so many hidden narratives and so much knowledge yet to be uncovered. The Headley Fellowships give curators the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the art and objects in their care, and I am so excited to find out what new stories our new Fellows will be able to tell museum visitors as a result of these fascinating research projects.'

A further 11 fellowships will be available later this year in the third round of the programme. For more information see the Headley Fellowships programme page.

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