Wellcome Collection appoints head of public programmes

Rebecca Atkinson, 06.10.2015
James Peto to take over from Ken Arnold
James Peto has been appointed the head of public programmes at the Wellcome Collection in London.  

He will take over from Ken Arnold, who will become the creative director of the Wellcome Trust and focus on developing international opportunities for cultural collaboration and exchange. From summer 2016, Arnold will also run the Medical Museion in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Peto joined the Wellcome Collection when it opened in 2007 as the chief curator, and was later promoted to the head of exhibitions.

Previously he was the head of exhibitions at the Design Museum in London, and has also worked on exhibitions for the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, Nottingham Castle Museum and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.

The Wellcome Collection completed a £17.5m development in February, which a new temporary exhibition space and a reworked Reading Room.

Peto, who will lead the exhibition, events and publications teams in his now role, said: “With expanded exhibition and event spaces to programme and some great book titles brewing, this is a really exciting time for Wellcome Collection.

“The team here is alive with programming ideas. I am really looking forward to working with them to extend the range of our partners and the reach of Wellcome Collection’s activities in order to bring these ideas to a wider audience.”

Simon Chaplin, the director of culture and society at the Wellcome Trust, said: “Peto has been a key factor in the enormous critical and popular success of Wellcome Collection’s exhibitions since we opened in 2007. His vision and imagination and the talent he has developed in our wider exhibitions team make him the perfect candidate to lead the next stage of Wellcome Collection’s creative journey.”

Kate Forde, the Wellcome Collection’s senior curator, will become the head of exhibitions. She has been at the organisation for nine years.