Fellowships for early career collection professionals in the UK

Thank you to all who applied for our latest round in Fellowships. We’ll be announcing the five chosen 2019/20 Fellows here shortly.


Recent Fellows

Three Professional Research Fellowships were granted in 2017, as follows:

Leeanne Westwood, Museum Curator at Valence House Museum in Dagenham
Leeanne Westwood, Museum Curator, Valence House Museum

Leeanne Westwood, Museum Curator, Valence House Museum

Leeanne is researching the remarkable collection of Fanshawe family portraits, ranging in date from 1560 to 1940, at Valence House Museum. Artists represented include Peter Lely, Marcus Gheeraerts the younger, and Mary Beale. Of particular interest is the presence of contemporary seventeenth-century studio copies of portraits, which can be related to examples in other private and public collections. Leeanne will map these Fanshawe portraits, gaining greater insights into how the family commissioned and displayed replicas.

This research will be presented in a temporary exhibition at Valence House Museum in spring 2018, with accompanying visitor interpretation and booklet.


Catherine Shanahan, Collections Officer at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum
Catherine Shanahan, Collections Officer, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum

Catherine Shanahan, Collections Officer, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum

Catherine is researching the photographic archive of the Redding studio run by Graham Wiseman in Rugby between 1958 and 1972.

Wiseman’s collection of some 25,000 acetate and glass plate negatives record the changing demographics of the town, as economic opportunities attracted migrants from Asia, the Caribbean, and elsewhere. Catherine will identify ten portraits from the collection to be the subject of intensive research, covering the sitters’ biographies and their communities. Her research will also incorporate best practice guidelines around the storage, display, handling, and digitisation of photographic media. Intended outputs include oral recordings with sitters, interpretation material for the Art Gallery and Museum website, and temporary displays for in-gallery use and at community engagement events.


Tom Boggis, Senior Curator at the Holburne Museum in Bath
Tom Boggis, Senior Curator, Holburne Museum

Tom Boggis, Senior Curator, Holburne Museum

Tom’s research is derived from the portrait of Catherine Cussans (1753-1834) by John Hoppner in the Holburne collection.

Cussans was the paternal aunt of Sir William Holburne and Sir William’s collection forms the founding core of the museum. Biographical research is intended to uncover more about Cussans’ own collecting activities, the sources of her wealth which eventually helped to purchase the museum’s home on Great Pulteney Street, and the influence she had in developing her nephew’s collecting interests. Tom will also be researching Hoppner’s practice and oeuvre, in order to reassess his contemporary reception by patrons, critics, and the wider artistic community. The various outputs of this research include new content for the museum’s website, volunteer training, and a revised children’s trail.



Three Professional Research Fellowships were granted in 2016, as follows

Professional Learning Fellow: Su Hepburn, Senior Learning Officer, Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton
Su Hepburn, Senior Learning Officer, Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton

Su Hepburn, Senior Learning Officer, Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton. Professional Learning Fellow 2016/17.

Su researched the life of Frances Garnet Wolseley, Viscountess Wolseley (1872-1936) and her portrait by Julian Russell Story dated 1884.

Wolseley trained female students in the practicalities of garden design and management, formally establishing Glynde College for Lady Gardeners in 1907 and publishing Gardening for Women the following year. She was a life-long advocate of market co-operatives, smallholdings, and the revival of rural industries. Local and national archives, especially the Brighton & Hove Libraries’ Rare Books collection, were consulted to better understand the sitter’s personal and professional biography. This research informed a free online teachers’ resource which enables teachers to explore this portrait and the language of portraiture with their students.


Professional Partnership Fellows: Dr Kate Noble, Education Officer, and Lucy Shipp, Learning Associate – Widening Participation and Arts Award, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Dr Kate Noble, Education Officer, and Lucy Sercombe, Learning Associate, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Dr Kate Noble, Education Officer, and Lucy Sercombe, Learning Associate, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Professional Research Fellows 2016/17.

Lucy Shipp, Learning Associate - Widening Participation and Arts Award, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Professional Research Fellows 2016/17.

Lucy Shipp, Learning Associate – Widening Participation and Arts Award, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Professional Research Fellows 2016/17.

Kate Noble began this Fellowship with colleague Lucy Sercombe in spring 2016, and after the latter’s departure from the Fitzwilliam Museum in late summer 2016, Kate was joined by Lucy Shipp to complete the Fellowship project.

Kate and Lucy researched the portrait The Twins, Kate and Grace Hoare by John Everett Millais (1829-96), oil on canvas, 1876.

Their research focused on the biographies of the sitters and their contemporary social history and private artistic activities. A further strand of research sought to situate the portrait within Millais’s oeuvre. Anticipated outputs include a short film made by the Fellows, their Fitzwilliam colleagues, and local A’ Level students interpreting the portrait, as well as learning material for teachers and group leaders to use in order to encourage engagement with Victorian portraiture at the museum.


Professional Research Fellow: Laura Millward, Collections Assistant, The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds
Laura Millward, Collections Assistant, The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds

Laura Millward, Collections Assistant, The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds. Professional Research Fellow 2016/17.

Laura researched the pastel portraits of John and Jane Marshall by John Russell, dated 1802.

John Marshall was a successful Leeds industrialist who campaigned for the foundation of a university in the city, and was involved with other public philanthropic causes. His wife Jane was a friend and correspondent of the author Dorothy Wordsworth, sister of William. Laura explored their biographies, social and professional milieu in Leeds, and connections with the portraitist John Russell (1745-1806). Outputs include new in-gallery interpretation and a visitor resource mapping the Marshalls’ contributions to the economic and social life of Leeds.

Watch the 2016 Fellows discussing their research here: