Christopher Brown to retire as Ashmolean director - Museums Association

Christopher Brown to retire as Ashmolean director

Campaign launched to create eponymous fund for curatorial fellowships
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Rebecca Atkinson
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Christopher Brown is to retire as the director of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford in September next year after 16 years in the post.

Following a sabbatical year, Brown will take up a research professor position at the University of Oxford for three years until 2018. His work will be on the 17th-century artists, Van Dyck and Rembrandt, with an exhibition on the latter planned for the Ashmolean in 2016.

The museum has also announced it will launch a campaign to create the Professor Christopher Brown Fund, which will be used to establish curatorial fellowships at the Ashmolean.
 
It will also begin the process of recruiting Brown’s successor, so they can take up the position when he steps down.

Andrew Hamilton, vice chancellor of the University of Oxford, said:  “The Ashmolean has prospered hugely during Christopher Brown’s directorship, which has seen the transformation of both the building and the gallery space within it.

"The development of the Ashmolean has justly won plaudits and accolades, and owes much to Christopher’s own drive, vision, and imagination.”

Annual visits to the Ashmolean have risen from 100,000 to more than a million since Brown took up the post of director in 1998.

He has also overseen a major redevelopment of the museum. In 2009, the museum reopened after a £61m rebuild by the architect Rick Mather.

Two years later, in the £5m second phase, six new galleries of Ancient Egypt and Nubia opened and Brown also announced plans to convert the courtyard on the west side of the building into 800 sq m of exhibition space across three levels.



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