The Project Advisory Board (AVB) includes senior museum professionals and curators, archivists, creative technology specialists and prominent members of the antiques trade. They bring a wide range of expertise and experience to the project.
The AVB offer pro bono expertise and advice on the development of the Antique Dealers project and meet with the project team at regular intervals.
Professor Reinhold Behringer
Reinhold Behringer is Professor of Creative Technology at Leeds Metropolitan University with more than 20 years experience in the development of prototypes for Human-Computer Interaction Technology. After studying physics in Würzburg (Germany) and Buffalo (USA) he got his Doctorate with a thesis about his development of a computer-vision based vision system for road lane marking tracking for autonomous driving (UniBWM, 1996). From 1996 on he worked in the USA at Rockwell Scientific as Senior Scientist and Program Manager and developed Augmented Reality (AR) systems for industrial applications before AR became mainstream on mobile phones. After he became Professor at LeedsMet in 2005 he got interested in geo-centric interfaces as means for conveying location-related information. He is also a classical music enthusiast and creates renditions of symphonies solely with a PC. His personal interest is in history and heritage, and he has been involved in several local initiatives in Leeds related to industrial heritage.
A brief change of direction took me fund-raising to the Royal Opera House (lovely) and selling Chelsea properties (not so lovely) before joining the family firm of Ronald A Lee Fine Arts, housed in a quirky former coaching inn in the heart of Mayfair. The company, which then consisted of my father Ronald Lee, his business partner R T (Peter) Gwynn, my brother Charlie and myself, dealt in many areas of the fine and decorative arts with an emphasis on 17th century English clocks, furniture and arms and armour. We enjoyed good relationships with many major museums both within the UK and further afield and a number of our purchases can now be found in public collections.
In 2004, I was persuaded by the eminent pottery dealer, Jonathan Horne, to help him set up a new City Guild for the decorative arts, which I am pleased to relate is about to be awarded full Livery Company status as the Company of Arts Scholars. It also operates a Charitable Trust providing funds for people and projects connected with the decorative arts and I am happy and proud to say that I am its Clerk. (see www.artscholars.org)
Yvonne Hardman joined the project Advisory Board in April 2015, following Camilla Nichol who left Leeds Museums and Galleries to take up a new role in Cambridge.
Yvonne is Head of Collections and Programmes for Leeds Museums and Galleries, one of the largest local authority museum services in the UK with nine sites, 1.3 million items in the collection and attracting over 1.4m visitors a year. She manages a team which encompasses curators, registrars, conservators, community engagement and digital media. Until March 2015 she was the Art Gallery Officer at Touchstones Rochdale for ten years and prior to this held posts at the Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport and the Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool. From 2003-2009 she was on the board of directors at Manchester Craft & Design Centre and has been an Artistic and Quality Assessor for Arts Council England since 2009.
Martin Levy, FSA, is the fourth generation of his family with the London antique dealer H. Blairman & Sons; he has been with the firm since 1975. He was Chairman of the British Antique Dealers’ Association (1993-94); a Trustee of the London Historic House Museums Trust (1997-2008), and a member of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art (1997-2007). He is currently a member of the Spoliation Advisory Panel and stands down shortly after ten years as Treasurer of the Furniture History Society.
Martin Levy has, over the past three decades, lectured in the U.K. and the U.S.A.; he has also contributed articles, exhibition reviews and book reviews to numerous publications. A brief selection includes: ‘Manufacturers at the World’s Fairs: The Model of 1851’ in Jason T. Busch and Catherine L. Futter (eds), Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs 1851-1939 (New York, 2012); [book review] ‘Susan E, Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster and London, 1730-1840: Cabinetmakers and International Merchants: A Furniture and Business History’, Decorative Arts, XVII, no. 1 (Fall-Winter 2009-2010); John Colman Isaac, ‘Importer of Curiosities. An outline of his life, and the 1846 Continental Diary’ [with Elaine Moss], Journal of the History of Collections, 2002 (vol. 14, no. 1); Napoleon in Exile, Leeds, 1998, ‘George Bullock’s Partnership with Charles Fraser, 1813-1818, and the Stock-in-Trade Sale, 1819’, Furniture History, 1989. Amongst current research projects are the French enamellist Charles Lepec and the life of the collector Percival Griffiths.
James Lomax trained as a museum curator under the late Christopher Gilbert at Temple Newsam before working at Manchester Art Galleries for five years. He returned to Temple Newsam in 1985 where he worked until his retirement in 2011. For 35 years he has been involved in most aspects of museum curatorship: acquisitions, research, publications and cataloguing, teaching, exhibitions, conservation and collections management. Much of his work has touched on the history of collecting and the historic role of art dealers and the trade. His publications include the catalogues British Silver at Temple Newsam and Lotherton Hall (1992); (with James Rothwell) Country House Silver from Dunham Massey (2006); and many contributions to journals. Exhibitions range from John Singer Sargent and the Edwardian Age (with Richard Ormond) (1979), Maids and Mistresses (2003); John Smeaton: father of Civil Engineering in Britain (2011). Notable acquisitions secured include the Kirkleatham Centrepiece (1987); the Jennens and Bettridge garniture (2002); Earl Grey’s writing table (2006); the Daisy Fellows chinoiserie epergne (2010); Lord Raby’s massive silver cistern (2011); the Horton Fawkes beadwork mirror (2013). James was Hon Editorial Secretary to the Furniture History Society 1985-88; Chairman of the Silver Society 1998-99. He has been Hon Curator of the Chippendale Society since 1995 and Chair of the Leeds Art Fund since 2012.
Judith Phillips, Archivist at The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle.
Judith worked in local government record offices in Bristol, Derbyshire and Sheffield, for nearly 30 years before being appointed to a year-long HLF project at the University of Sunderland to catalogue re cords of three mining organisations in the North of England Mining and Archive Research Centre. This was followed by a two-year HLF project at The Bowes Museum to arrange and catalogue the records of the Museum and its founders and to make them accessible to the public. Work as a Monument Trust Fellow subsequently allowed her to train and support curatorial staff and volunteers to maintain the public service. She is currently engaged on a two-year part-time project, funded by the National Cataloguing Awards Scheme, to catalogue to item level the founders’ letters and bills. Judith is also Honorary Archivist to the Museum.
Emma Slocombe is a National Trust curator based in Kent and East Sussex. Her property portfolio includes Knole, Sissinghurst, Scotney Castle and Smallhythe Place. She is currently on secondment as lead consultant and curator on ‘Inspired by Knole’, a £17.5 million conservation and interpretation project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund to secure the future of the building and collections at Knole. She has a special interest in costume and textiles and her current research is focused on the collection of 17th century royal state furniture at Knole and the history of its presentation. Recent completed projects include a five year project to open the New House at Scotney Castle to the public, ‘Dress in the Limelight’, a reinterpretation of Ellen Terry’s beetle-wing dress at Smallhythe Place and the conservation of the James II Bed at Knole. She has published ‘Lady Macbeth at the Lyceum’ (National Trust Historic Houses and Collections Annual in association with Apollo, 2011) and ‘John Piper at Scotney Castle’ (John Piper in Kent and East Sussex, ed. Nathaniel Hepburn, 2011).
Christopher Wilk is Keeper of the Furniture, Textiles and Fashion Department at the V&A, a post he has held since 2000. He is also responsible for the V&A’s Contemporary Architecture, Design and Digital Section. Christopher joined the V&A in 1988 as Assistant Keeper of Modern Furniture and became Chief Curator in 1990. He began his career at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (Department of Architecture and Design) and also worked as a curator of decorative arts at the Brooklyn Museum.
Christopher was the curator of the V&A’s major 2006 exhibition, ‘Modernism: Designing a New World 1914-1939’ (and editor of the catalogue), and was Chief Curator of the British Galleries project (1996-2001). He is the author of books on Thonet, Marcel Breuer, and Frank Lloyd Wright, editor and contributor to Western Furniture 1350 to the present day, and co-editor and contributor to Creating the British Galleries at the V&A, a Study in Museology. He contributed to the V&A’s Furniture Gallery (opened December 2012) and his is currently researching the history of plywood for a V&A exhibition (2017).
Camilla Nichol (Advisory Board Member 2013-2014)
Camilla left Leeds Museums in October 2014 to take up a new role as Chief Executive of the Arctic Heritage Trust in Cambridge; she regrettably had to step down from the project advisory board in November 2014. We hope to recruit Camila’s replacement as Head of Collections at Leeds Museums onto the project Advisory Board.
Camilla Nichol was Head of Collections at Leeds Museums and Galleries – one of the largest local authority museums services in the UK with nine sites, 1.3 million items in the collection and 1.1m visitors, where she has been since 2008. In this role she is responsible for all matters concerned with the care, curation and use of the diverse collections, but also has wider responsibilities for partnership development, digital media, service strategy development and managing the Arts Council Major Partner Museum programme. Previously she headed up the science team for York Museums Trust as curator of geology and prior to that worked in curatorial and technical roles at the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow, Almond Valley Heritage Trust and the Scottish Football Museum. She is museum mentor for Whitby Museum and Trustee for the Burton Constable Foundation. She has pursued a close working relationship with Leeds University and is on the boards of a small number of academic centres which further the research potential of culture and heritage and is currently supervising two AHRC funded collaborative doctoral award students.