Museum directors step down

Several senior figures announce change or retirement over summer
Profile image for Simon Stephens
Simon Stephens
A number of senior figures have announced plans to change jobs or retire over the summer.

Janice Murray, the director general of the National Army Museum in Chelsea, London, retires in October. She leaves following the completion in March of a three-year £23.75m redevelopment. Murray has previously worked for the National Railway Museum in York and the Royal Armouries.

Janet Vitmayer plans to step down as the chief executive of London's Horniman Museum and Gardens in March 2018 from a post she has held for nearly 20 years. She will continue to her trusteeships at the Hunterian Collection at the Royal College of Surgeons Of England and the Florence Nightingale Museum.

During the summer, the National Railway Museum announced that that Paul Kirkman was leaving as director. He joined the York museum in 2012 on secondment from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport following the departure of Steve Davies.

Diana Owen, the chief executive of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, for the past 10 years, announced that she will step down in early 2018.

In Glasgow, Steph Scholten joins The Hunterian from the University of Amsterdam where he was the director of heritage collections. He replaces David Gaimster, who left to become the director of the Auckland War Memorial Museum, New Zealand.

Emma Morris has left the Towner art gallery in Eastbourne after four years as its director. Earlier in the year, Morris had been critical of plans by Eastbourne Borough Council to cut the funding for the gallery by 50%, according to the Eastbourne Herald. Niamh Pearce has become the acting director.

A new director of the Watts Gallery Trust, Alistair Burtenshaw, starts work early next month. He joins the gallery in Surrey from Charleston in East Sussex, the former home of Bloomsbury Group artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.

Burtenshaw has been replaced by Nathaniel Hepburn, who begins his new role in October. He joins from the Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, where he is the director.

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