I am a Londoner and live in Stockwell. As an undergraduate I studied history at the University of Leicester. I have a Masters Degree in art history from Birkbeck College, University of London specialising in eighteenth-century British Art and Architecture and a PhD in art history from the University of York. The subject is the English painter Joseph Highmore (1692-1780).
I began my career as a junior curator at the V&A’s Theatre Museum in Covent Garden, then as a volunteer curator at the Guard’s Museum, Wellington Barracks, followed by two years at the Tate as the registrar managing the annual rehang at Millbank (now Tate Britain). After this I spent 5 years as assistant curator of the Palace of Westminster (aka the Houses of Parliament), advising the House of Commons and Lords Art Committees and the Speaker, organizing exhibitions including “From Walpole to Pitt” and managing a collection that was dispersed throughout the palace and parliamentary estate. I left with some extraordinary memories and a scrap of THAT wallpaper.
From 1999 to 2004 I was Director of the Handel House Museum leading a successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid, the restoration of the Grade I&II listed buildings, setting up the museum’s operating systems, programming, loans, displays and exhibitions. It opened in November 2001 and I ran the museum for three years. One of my proudest moments was bringing the autograph score of Messiah back to Brook Street after 240 years. In September 2004 I left to join the first cohort of fellows on the Clore Leadership Programme. I am a Fellow of Stanford Business School and an independent member of the Audit and Compliance committee of the National Portrait Gallery.
I have been a consultant since 2005 and since 2008 Bill Hamilton (A M Heath) has been my literary agent.