Ann Sumner

Director of Birmingham Museums Trust appointed

Rebecca Atkinson, 14.02.2012
Ann Sumner named as trust's first director
Ann Sumner has been appointed as the first director of Birmingham Museums Trust, the new body responsible for running Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery (BMAG) and Thinktank.

She is currently the director of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham and previously held the role of head of fine art at Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales, for seven years.

BMAG will merge with Thinktank science museum and several historic buildings, including Aston Hall and Weoley Castle, into a new trust from April. The move will save Birmingham City Council an estimated £2.4m by 2014-15 across its nine museum and heritage sites.

In her new role, which she assumes from 1 May, Sumner will manage an annual budget of £11m.

She said: “The high quality and diversity of the collections that will be managed by the new trust are outstanding and hugely popular with the people of Birmingham, the West Midlands and beyond.”

Sumner’s specialist areas of interest are 17th-century British portraits and miniatures, French Impressionist painting, Pre-Raphaelite artists and the art of Wales. She also has experience in country house management.

As a result of the move to trust status, the role of head of heritage services at BMAG will no longer exist.

In a statement, Birmingham City Council said Rita McLean, who currently holds that role, indicated at an early stage in the recruitment process that she did not wish to be considered for the new role.

It added: “Having led the service for seven years and worked for BMAG for many years prior to this, she felt it was the right time for her to move on to new endeavours.”