Liverpool Museums’ Fleming to stand down

David Fleming, director of National Museums Liverpool since 2001, is standing down in March.

He is retiring to become a professor of museum studies at Liverpool Hope University.

Fleming has overseen a number of capital developments for the Merseyside museums, including the creation of the Museum of Liverpool in 2011, the opening of the Slavery Museum in 2007 and the refurbishment of the Walker Art Gallery and the World Museum. In that time visitor numbers to NML have grown from 700,000 to 3.2m.

Previously he had been director of Tyne and Wear Museums for 11 years, and before that was principal keeper at Hull museums. His museum career started as founder-curator of the Yorkshire Museum of Farming at York.

Dr FLeming’s time in Liverpool has at times been turbulent, however. In 2009 the Friends of National Museums Liverpool, a 1,700-strong fund-raising group of volunteers, was disbanded after falling out with the director over what it’s chair, Andrew Pierce, called “social engineering” in exhibitions. Fleming responded: “We are not here to dance to the tune of a small group of people who are following their personal agendas”.


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