Curators share £300k development funding

The Art Fund has named the 11 museum professionals that will share the Headley Fellowship’s grants this year worth £302,500 to extend their collections knowledge.

Museums from Helston in Cornwall to Kenmore in Aberfeldy, Perth and Kinross, will be able to reveal new stories from their holdings after benefitting from the third round of grants from the fund.

Among the fellowships is a project to tell the stories of the people who made the Powell-Cotton Museum in Kent and ethnographic collection possible; a plan to examine and display two previously uncatalogued Early Iron Age pottery assemblages at Scottish Crannog Centre; and an initiative which will examine the history of the Museum of Cornish Life.

The scheme is a £600,000 funding initiative created in 2018 with the Headley Trust and Art Fund to give curators time away from their day-to day responsibilities to focus on research, providing funding to fill posts for up to six months, plus £4,000 each to support professional development and up to £3,500 to support sharing the knowledge gained with other curators nationally and with audiences.

Helen McLeod of the Headley Trust said: “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”.

And Jenny Waldman, director of the Art Fund, added: “Supporting the development of curators’ skills and growing expertise in museums is key to deepening knowledge around UYK collections, and a core part of the Art Fund’s charitable programme. The Headley Fellowships provide a unique opportunity for some of the UK’s most talented museum professionals”.

Beneficiaries this time are: Jack Ashby, assistant director, University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge; Rachel Atherton, co-production curator, Derby Museums; Bret Gaunt, project officer, Buxton Museum and Art Gallery; Tehmina Goskar, director and curator, Curatorial Research Centre, Helston; Dominique Heyse-Moore, head of collections and exhibitions, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; Frances Houston, curator, Scottish Crannog Centre; Kathleen Lawther, freelance curator, Powell-Cotton Museum, Birchington, Kent; Alex Patterson, assistant curator of fine art, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; Adrian Plau, Wellcome Collection, London; Fiona Poole, senior curator, York Castle Museum; and Kathryn Warburton, Curator, Macclesfield Silk Museum.

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