New Members of the Advisory Council Announced

  • 26 October 2023

We are pleased to announce the appointment of four new members of the Advisory Council.

Fiona Kearney is the founding Director of the Glucksman, a purpose-built contemporary art museum on the campus of University College Cork. The Glucksman has won numerous awards for its architecture and creative programmes, most recently winner of the 2022 European Art Museum award which recognises the social impact of museums and art galleries.

Kearney received a double first class honours in French and Philosophy from University College Cork and went on to graduate first in her class at Trinity College Dublin with an M.Phil in Text & Image studies. From 1996–2001, she was lecturer in Philosophy of Art at the Crawford College of Art and Design. Throughout her academic and professional career, Kearney has received several distinguished awards including the designation of college scholar by UCC, bursary awards from the Arts Council of Ireland, the NUI Prix d'Honneur from the French Government, and a UCC President’s Award for Research on Innovative Forms of Teaching. She was the first recipient of the Jerome Hynes Fellowship on the Clore Leadership Programme and is a graduate of the Getty Museum Leadership Institute at the Getty Center in L.A. She has served as a member of the Arts Council of Ireland, where she chaired the Policy and Strategy Committee. She is an assessor on the Museum Standards Programme of Ireland, and previously a board member of the Irish Architecture Foundation, Corcadorca Theatre Company, and VISUAL Carlow. She currently serves on the board of Cork Midsummer Festival and Cork Chamber. She is a member of the Irish Museums Association, ICOM, IKT, Universeum, and AICA.

Kate Retford is Professor of History of Art and Head of the School of Historical Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. She has published widely on eighteenth-century British art, particularly on gender, portraiture, and the country house. Her recent publications include The Conversation Piece: Making Modern Art in Eighteenth-Century Britain (2017) and The Georgian London Town House: Building, Collecting and Display, co-edited with Susanna Avery-Quash (2019). She is currently working on a book about print rooms in eighteenth-century country houses, which was funded by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship in 2021–2022.

Victoria Walsh is Professor of Art History and Curating and Head of Curating Contemporary Art Programme at the Royal College of Art. Before joining the RCA she was Head of Public Programmes at Tate between 2005 and 2011. She has published extensively on curating and commissioning in relation to modern and contemporary art; the impact of digital and networked technology on the art museum; and curatorial, practice-based research methods. Her collaborative research projects include ‘Art Fair Innovations’ (West Bund Art and Design Fair, Shanghai University, 2019); ‘Cultural Value and the Digital’ (Tate Research / LSBU, 2014), ‘Transfigurations’ (PI, MACBA, 2014); and ‘Tate Encounters’ (Tate Britain / LSBU, 2010) which led to the publication Post Critical Museology (2010). Her collaborative curatorial projects include ‘Parallel of Life and Art’ (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 2000), ‘Growth and Form’ (with Elena Crippa, Tate Modern, 2014), and ‘New Brutalist Image’ (with Claire Zimmerman, Tate Britain, 2015).

Beth Williamson is Professor of Medieval Culture and Chair in the History of Art at the University of Bristol. Her research interests include the visual and material culture of religious and devotional practice, in the context of western European Christianity. She also works on sound and music, and often supervises research students working across the disciplines of visual culture and music. Professor Williamson has interests in the care and conservation of medieval religious buildings, in cultural heritage and public art, and in promoting collaboration and partnership working between universities and non-higher education institutions. She currently chairs the Bristol Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee and is a member of the Westminster Abbey Fabric Commission. At the University of Bristol, she sits on the University’s Heritage and Public Art Committee and chairs its Public Art Advisory Panel. Outside the UK she is a member of Council and Trustee of the British School at Rome.

The full list of Advisory Council members can be found on our Governance webpage.