Tributes paid following death of Mark Suggitt
Geraldine Kendall Adams, 16.01.2019
Colleagues celebrate Suggitt’s contribution to museums
Friends and colleagues have paid tribute to museum professional Mark Suggitt following his death last week.
Mark was the director of Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site until 2017. Prior to that he was head of Bradford Museums, Galleries and Heritage. He spent seven years as the director of St Albans Museums, where he oversaw the extension the Verulanium Museum.
Mark started his museum career in 1979 as assistant keeper of social history at Salford Museums and Art Galleries. He also worked at York Castle Museum and Yorkshire and Humberside Museums Council.
Mark had a longstanding connection to the Museums Association (MA). He was a Fellow of the Museums Association (FMA) and a mentor in the Associateship of the Museums Association (AMA) scheme. He also wrote numerous articles and reviews for Museums Journal.
The MA’s director, Sharon Heal, said: “Mark was a grounded and collaborative leader who was always willing to share his experience and expertise. As an AMA mentor, he guided many people on their professional development journeys, selflessly supporting individual and sector development. He will be greatly missed.”
Tamsin Russell, the MA’s professional development officer, said: “Mark was a Fellow of the Museums Association, role-modelling excellence, commitment and expertise in line with our values and ethical practice. He was also a committed mentor to our AMA scheme and his talent and enthusiasm will be greatly missed.”
Speaking on behalf of Mark’s friends and colleagues, fellow museum professional Sue Underwood said: “How do you summarise 40 years of friendship, dating from our meeting at Leicester University in September 1978? Mark was clearly going to succeed in museums with his passion for design, research and telling stories, and along with his wife Helena they were a tour de force.
“I speak for many in remembering 40 years which included energetic debates, laughter till we cried, visits to museums (and of course their cafes), but most of all, pride and respect in all Mark delivered.
“His professionalism and friendship went hand in hand, and I and my family, together with many friends and colleagues, were lucky to be part of his life.”
A statement from the Suggitt family said: “We are sad to announce that Mark Suggitt died suddenly, but peacefully, on January 11th at the age of 62. Funeral arrangements will be made available via Joseph Geldart & Sons Tel: 0113 2582134.”
Mark's writing for Museums Journal