Museums Seminar – How to Survive and Prosper as an Independent Museum, Bonhams London, 1 February 2016

How to Survive and Prosper as an Independent Museum, Bonhams London, 1 February 2016

Tim Knox, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, Jane Knowles Head of Collections at the National Gallery, Professor Steven Parissien Director, Compton Verney and Dr Janet Barnes CBE Chief Executive York Museums Trust (2002-2015) are just some of the speakers who will be contributing to our 2016 Seminar which follows on from last year’s successful Seminar at Trinity Hall Cambridge.

Bonhams, Ecclesiastical Insurance and Castleacre Insurance will be hosting the event on the 1st February at Bonhams’ main saleroom in New Bond Street, London.

What Your Museum Can Gain from this Seminar

The seminar is an opportunity to meet museum professionals who have been faced with the challenging task of making their museum viable in an austere economic environment. It will also be a chance to learn about real experiences as they reveal their trials and triumphs.

The seminar, will run from 10am to 4.30pm and will include coffee, tea and lunch, as well as an opportunity to tour Bonhams’ latest Impressionist and Contemporary sale by India Phillips.

Booking and Enquiries

Chantal Haddon
01787 211 155

The seminar is sponsored by Bonhams, Ecclesiastical Insurance and Castleacre Insurance and will be held at the Bowes Museum in Co Durham. Delegates will also be able to enjoy an exclusive talk and tour by the museum’s curator, Dr Jane Whittaker.


How to Survive and Prosper as an Independent Museum

Bonhams, 101 New Bond Street, London W1S 1SR
1 February 2016 10am to 4.30pm

Fund Raising and Sponsorship

  • Effective ways of raising money to secure short term projects and long term financial security – Dr Steven Parissien, Director of Compton Verney Art Gallery, will talk about some of their successful fund-raising strategies


  • How to move from Government to Trust Status – Dr Janet Barnes CBE, CEO of York Museums Trust (2002-2015), who has been through the process will relay her experience

Collections Management Strategy

This will be an open discussion looking at the different strands that influence collection management decisions

  • How to set out a clear De-Accessioning and Acquisitions Policy to ensure that the direction and purpose of an organisation is put at the heart of collection management decisions – Isabel Wilson, Senior Manager, Collections and Museum Programmes, Arts Council England 
  • A Director of Accredited Former Council Museum will discuss how they rationalised their collection and improved public engagement – Stephanie Crossley, former Director of Cultural Services, Bolton Council
  • Julian Smith, Partner Charity and Community Team, Farrer & Co, uses his extensive experience with the museums sector to examine the legal framework of collections management and de-accessioning
  • Mike Neill, Director Bonhams Tax and Heritage Department – will talk about the benefits of new Arts Council Cultural Gift Scheme for Museums

Risk Management/Emergency Planning

  • Real life case study of how a disaster was managed to limit impact to heritage assets – Andrew Brown, Heritage Claims Director, Ecclesiastical Insurance looks at how The Surrey Infantry Museum, based at the National Trust’s Clandon Park, was affected by the catastrophic 2015 fire
  • Hugo Johnsen, Museums Director Castleacre Insurance and Clare Pardy, Fine Art Director, Ecclesiastical Insurance and Paul Davidson, Director Bonhams Valuations discuss using the services of a specialist broker, insurer and valuer to develop a risk management stategy and mitigate loss.

Exhibition Strategy

  • Practicalities of Securing Loans – Jane KnowlesHead of Exhibitions at the National Gallery and Kate Parsons, Head of Collections Management at the Tate will explore the administrative difficulties of securing loans
  • How to make exhibitions work successfully – Tim Knox, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum will re-examine the ups and downs of exhibition planning

Marketing and Press

  • Dr Thomas Marks, Editor of International Arts Magazine, Apollo, will explain how to capture press interest.

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