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The Recognition Committee

Christopher Baker

Christopher Baker is Director of European and Scottish Art and Portraiture at the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS). He’s responsible for the collection and programme at the National and Portrait Galleries in Edinburgh and has previously worked at Christ Church, Oxford, and the National Gallery in London. Christopher is a member of the Spoliation Advisory Panel and the jury for the ‘Portrait Now’ international award; he’s been a Visiting Fellow at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, and received research and publication grants from the Mellon Centre and Terra Foundation. 

His curatorial work has focused on British and Scottish art pre-1900, especially portraiture; drawings and watercolours of the 18th and 19th centuries; aspects of the history of collecting and display; and European old master paintings.

Allan Carswell

Allan Carswell is a freelance curator, researcher, and historian. Since 2005, he’s worked on a range of projects, both in the UK and overseas. Including special exhibitions, museum redevelopments, research projects, and the interpretation of various heritage sites.

Prior to this, Allan worked for over 20 years as a curator for the National Museums of Scotland (NMS), mainly based at the Scottish United Services Museum in Edinburgh Castle.  During his time with the NMS, Allan gained an excellent working knowledge of British military collections as well as an understanding of their intrinsic value and significance.

Allan has organised numerous exhibitions and published widely on many aspects of Scottish and British military history. During 1998-2000, he directed a major redevelopment of the entire museum at Edinburgh Castle and oversaw its successful reopening as the National War Museum of Scotland. In 2012, he contributed two chapters to the acclaimed ‘A Military History of Scotland’, published by the Edinburgh University Press.

Allan continues to contribute to the museum community in Scotland both as a trustee, committee member, and advisor to several organisations.

Neil Curtis

Neil Curtis is the Head of Museums and Special Collections at the University of Aberdeen.

With degrees in Archaeology and Education, his interests have focused on Scottish historiography, particularly relating to collecting and exhibitions, and the social role of museums today. This has included work on repatriation, human remains, and working with originating communities. His curatorial work has been related to the Archaeology, History, and World Cultures collections. Neil has also been involved with delivering the museum’s service to schools as well as creating exhibitions and public programmes. He established the Museum Studies programme in Aberdeen and continues to co-ordinate courses that focus on museum practice.

Neil is a member of the Museums Association’s Ethics Committee, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland committees, and University Museums in Scotland. He’s also a member of the Museums Galleries Scotland working group on decolonisation and a member of the Museums Association working group on decolonisation and repatriation and formerly a member of the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel.

Ann Gunn

Ann Gunn is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of St Andrews, having taught postgraduate Museum and Gallery Studies for the past 20 years. Before that she had a career in museums, working with collections as curator, registrar, and honorary curator at Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery; The Art Museum, Princeton University, USA; and the University of St Andrews Museum collections.   She was a member of the validation panels for Museums Galleries Scotland’s Skills for the Future Internships and is a mentor for the Museums Association AMA programme.

She has also run her own gallery specialising in contemporary Scottish art and was previously Chair of Fife Contemporary Art and Craft.  She’s published on 18th– 20th century British art, with a focus on printmaking, and is the author of The Prints of Paul Sandby (1731-1809): a Catalogue Raisonné, (2015) and The Prints of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: a complete catalogue, (2007). She was principal investigator for an RSE-funded project, Printmaking in Scotland in the 18th century and continues to research and write in this area.

Emma Halford-Forbes

Emma is Halford-Forbes is Heritage and Exhibitions Director of Dundee Heritage Trust.

Emma previously worked at Industrial Museums Scotland (IMS) as Coordinator in 2016, Emma spent over a decade working in community and museum development. Emma was Museum Manager at The Black Watch Castle & Museum for more than 8 years, and oversaw the major museum redevelopment in 2013-14. She was a Museum Mentor and curatorial adviser for 7 years. Emma sits on the Board of Glencoe Folk Museum.

Emma grew up in Fife, Orkney and Shetland, and now lives in Fife. She has an undergraduate degree in Scottish History (2003) and a postgraduate diploma in Museum Studies (2005), both from the University of St. Andrews.

David Hopes

David Hopes is Head of Museums & Galleries for Leeds City Council. Previously he worked with the National Trust for Scotland for 12 years firstly as a curator, then Director of Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, and then as Head of Collections & Interiors in the policy team at Hermiston Quay, Edinburgh. He’s worked on some landmark projects as curator and manager including the Greater Pollok Kist (Open Museum, Glasgow City Council), the Distributed National Burns Collections Project (Scottish Museums Council), and two new museum projects (MUSA, Museum of the University of St Andrews, now the Wardlaw Museum; and Robert Burns Birthplace Museum). From 2011-14, he was a research fellow with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Shakespeare Institute (University of Birmingham) exploring how digital technology can be used to support learning with artefacts, the subject of his PhD.

David is Deputy Chair of Robert Burns Ellisland Trust and sits on the Editorial Board of the Burns Chronicle (Robert Burns World Federation and Edinburgh University Press). He’s also a member of the Museum Accreditation Committee managed by Arts Council England.

Stephen Jackson

Stephen Jackson is Senior Curator, Furniture & Woodwork at National Museums Scotland. He’s worked in museums for over 20 years, in national, local authority and university sectors, curating decorative art, design, and social history collections. He was involved in the redevelopment of the National Museum of Scotland from the master-planning stage to the recent opening of the new Art and Design galleries. His publications range from the 16th to the 20th centuries with a particular focus on Scottish cabinet making. Stephen served on the Collections Advisory Panel of the National Trust for Scotland from 2007 – 2012.

Susan Jeffrey

Susan Jeffrey has worked in the museum sector for more than 30 years, starting her career at the pioneering Springburn Community Museum in Glasgow in 1987.  She’s worked in five local authorities across Scotland and England, as a social history and art curator; and service manager for Renfrewshire Museums and East Dunbartonshire Museums Services.

In her current role as a Manager within Renfrewshire’s Heritage Service, Susan is responsible for Research and Collections. This includes both Paisley’s wide ranging museum collections – Art, Science, Social History, Natural History, World Cultures, Paisley’s Recognised Collection the Paisley Shawl Collection, and the historic archive collection held within Paisley’s Heritage Centre. Susan was also involved with the development of Paisley’s Secret Collection, the UK’s first publicly accessible, High Street museum store.

Ann Millar

Ann Millar is an Assistant Director in Research and Innovation at the Scottish Funding Council for Further and Higher Education (SFC) where she’s worked since 2004. She has extensive experience in policy development and implementation in the fields of research, innovation, and knowledge exchange and has in-depth knowledge of the Scottish academic research base. Her current work involves an evaluation of a large thematic group of SFC’s strategic investments and implementing a new online outcome reporting system for SFC’s investments. Ann also supported the development of the Scottish Graduate Schools for the arts and humanities and the social sciences both of which involve large collaborations of Scottish universities.

Ann joined SFC from the Scottish Government, where she held the post of Deputy Chief Researcher. During her time at Scottish Government, she worked on policy research and evaluation studies, while also managing large-scale programmes of research and translating the outputs of research for use throughout policy process.

Ann is an academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and was a member of the UK Economic and Social Research Council’s Strategic Research Board from 2004-2008.

Helen Rawson

Helen Rawson is Head of Heritage at York Minster.  She’s spent much of her career in the Scottish museum sector. Including 19 years as Co-Director at the University of St Andrews, and earlier as curator and senior curator, where she had a lead role in the Museum of the University of St Andrews. She’s also worked as a museum consultant, in research development, and at National Museums Scotland.

Throughout her career, she has gained extensive experience in collections care and management, exhibitions, strategy and policy development, fundraising, and capital projects, including museum and store developments. Her research interests, including her PhD, focus on the history and development of museum collections.

Tamsin Russell

Tamsin Russell works for the Museums Association and leads their workforce and professional development programmes across the UK.  She previously worked for National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, National Museums Scotland – all focusing on organisational development and change management; as well as being a past president of the Scottish Museums Federation. Her first role in the sector was as head of training and development for the Science Museum Group, bringing her experience from the private sector – a multi-site retailer.  She’s an Accreditation Museum Mentor, sits on the Scottish Heritage Angels short-listing panel and the UK wide Heritage Volunteering Group – Steering Committee.

Alison Stevenson

Alison Stevenson is Head of Learning Resources at The Glasgow School of Art, a role that encompasses the Library, Learning Technology, Archives, and Collections. She’s also Chair of SCURL (Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries) and a Board Member for SCONUL (Society of College, National and University Libraries). Alison was born and raised in Edinburgh, and prior to starting at the Glasgow School of Art,  lived in New Zealand where she worked as the Director of Te Puhikotuhi o Aotearoa (the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre) and later as Associate Director of the Library at Victoria University of Wellington.

David Taylor

David Taylor is Curator of Pictures and Sculpture at the National Trust.  He’s responsible for the Trust’s art collection, which is housed in over 250 properties throughout England, Northern Ireland, and Wales.  He’ previously worked at the National Galleries of Scotland, the University of Glasgow, and Historic Environment Scotland.  David is a member of the Tate Collection Committee, a steering group member of the Understanding British Portraits subject specialist network, and an advisory council member of the Hamilton Kerr Institute (University of Cambridge).  David is also a fellow for both the Society of Antiquaries and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

David specialises in early modern Scottish and English portraiture and is currently working on a monograph on the production of portraits in 16th and 17th-century Scotland. Recent exhibitions that David has co-curated include ‘Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War’ (Somerset House and Pallant House), ‘Rembrandt Revealed’ (Buckland Abbey), ‘Prized Possessions: Dutch Paintings from National Trust Houses’ (Holburne Museum, Mauritshuis and Petworth) and ‘British Baroque: Power and Illusion’ (Tate Britain).  David co-wrote and co-edited ‘Hardwick Hall: A Great Old Castle of Romance’ (Yale University Press), and has contributed to a number of publications, including ‘Queen Anne and British Culture, 1702-1714′ (Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies), ‘Aspiration, Representation and Memory: The Guise in Europe’ (Ashgate) and ‘Painting in Britain 1500-1630: Production, Influences and Patronage’ (Oxford University/British Academy).

Sally Tuckett 

Sally Tuckett is a lecturer in dress and textile history at the University of Glasgow. Her research has focused on the clothing and textile cultures of 18th and 19th-century century Scotland, working closely with museum and archive collections. She was the project researcher on Colouring the Nation: The Turkey Red Printed Cotton Industry in Scotland, a collaborative project between National Museums Scotland and the University of Edinburgh. She’s published on national identity and dress in the 18th century, and Scottish textile cultures including Ayrshire whitework and tartan.