Museum Moves 17 – 23 May 2024


Sir John Soane’s Museum has made two new appointments to itsBoard of Trustees who will join in July. Letizia Treves, Global Head of Research & Expertise in Old Masters at Christie’s, and Zoé Whitley, Director of Chisenhale Gallery, will join the Holborn museum. Nichola Johnson, OBE, FSA, and Basil Postan will step down from the Museum’s Board after completing their respective terms as Trustees.

Three new Trustees have joined the Board of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust. Dame Diane Lees CBE, Cllr Harinder Mahil, and Tony Jones will officially take up their posts at the Trust’s next Board meeting today, 23 May 2024. Dame Lees, the former Director-General of Imperial War Museums, said: “I have long admired the entrepreneurial ways in which the Trust and its staff has ensured the preservation and sustainable use of such important buildings, ships, boats and collections. I am really excited to become part of its future success.”

The charity that runs SS Great Britain and the Brunel Institute in Bristol has made two new appointments. Andrew Edwards is set to join The SS Great Britain Trust early next month, and will take over from current co-CEOs Angela Spreadbury and Phil Smith. It has also announced the appointment of Louisa Pharoah as development director.

New Chief Exec and Development Director at SS Great Britain Trust

Michelle Edward has been appointed Director of Finance & Corporate Services at Horniman Museum and Gardens. ​Edward, a qualified Chartered Accountant, joins the museum on 28 May 2024.

The National Portrait Gallery has announced that Michael Elliott will become interim Director, following the departure of Dr Nicholas Cullinan OBE, who has been appointed as the new Director of The British Museum. Elliott was was most recently interim Chief Executive for Arts Council Wales, and has previously been Chief Executive of The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

Openings & closures

A new gallery is set to open at Maidstone Museum next month. The new archaeology gallery ‘Lives In Our Landscape’ will open to the public on Wednesday 5 June, displaying objects dating back more than 600,000 years.

Stoke-on-Trent City Archives has opened at its new home, the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery. 344 cubic metres of archives and local studies material have been transferred as part of a £1.7m Stoke-on-Trent City Council investment into new facilities for City Archives.

A brand new £8m collections building is set to open this weekend at Locomotion railway museum in County Durham, giving visitors a chance to see over 100 vehicles.

Locomotion’s new £8m collections building to open this week


Royal Museums Greenwich has announced its next major exhibition, opening March 2025. ‘Pirates’ will feature objects including a flag captured from a Chinese pirate steam launch which has never been displayed before and a centrepiece given to Admiral Edward Pellew by the officers who served under him at the Bombardment of Algiers 1816. It will trace the changing depictions of pirates throughout the ages from Captain Pugwash to Long John Silver.

Following the recent reopening of The Museum of Bath Architecture, Bath Preservation Trust (BPT) has announced a new summer exhibition: “Biophilic Bath – The Green City You See”. It will feature designs by architects, engineers, and designers, which show visions of the city of a future which is ‘biophilic’; demonstrating a love of living things and nature. Runs 10 July – September 2024.

The first exhibition devoted to landscape sketches made by Frederic, Lord Leighton will go on display in his former home and studio, Leighton House later this year. Works by the Victorian artist to feature in ‘Leighton and Landscape’ include 50 of his en plein air paintings, many of which are returning to the artist’s house-museum for the first time in over 120 years. Runs 16 November 2024 – 27 April 2025.

A new exhibition will explore how the inhabitants of Leamington Spa benefited from the wealth generated by colonialism and the transatlantic slave economy. ‘Leamington Spa and the Black Atlantic’ at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum will explore the variety of Leamington’s links with West Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas from the late 18th to the early 20th century. It will tell the stories of enslavement and exploitation behind the town’s architecture, and the roots of the Art Gallery & Museum’s African collections. Runs 25 May – 15 September 2024.

The Ashmolean Museum has revealed its programme exhibition and display programme for 2024/25. It opens with ‘Money Talks: Art, Society and Power’, which will explore the art of global currency and the depiction of money in art. In spring 2025, ‘Anselm Kiefer: Early Works’ will celebrate the artist’s 80th year and will be the first UK exhibition to explore their early output.


A footprint in Tanzania, thought to be the oldest unequivocal evidence of human ancestors walking on two feet, is to be saved from erosion in a project backed by the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund. It is one of 22 new projects across 10 countries which will receive part of a £2m fund to tackle the effects of conflict and climate change on international cultural heritage.

Conservation project at site of earliest human steps backed by British Council fund

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