Sandy Nairne is a writer and curator based in London. From 2002-15 he was Director of the National Portrait Gallery and oversaw the expansion of its exhibition programmes, an increase in its annual level of visitors to over 2 million, and a number of very notable acquisitions.
He has worked previously as Assistant Director, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford; Director of Exhibitions at the ICA; Director of Visual Arts for the Arts Council of Great Britain; and for eight years was Director of Programmes at Tate, during which period he contributed to the planning of Tate Modern, the renewal of Tate Britain, and was the senior lead for learning, digital and national programmes.
Sandy Nairne's publications include State of the Art, 1987; the co-edited anthology Thinking about Exhibitions, 1996; and most recently, The Portrait Now; A Guide to Contemporary Portraits; The 21st Century Portrait; and Art Theft and the Case of the Stolen Turners, 2011.
He is currently Chair of the Fabric Advisory Committee at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Art Advisory Group for Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres and chairs the Board of the Clore Cultural Leadership Programme. He is a Trustee of the National Trust and the Samuel Courtauld Trust.
Photograph: Eamonn McCabe
Clive Aslet joined Country Life in 1977 and left in 2015. During the course of that time he was Editor for 13 years. An award-winning writer and journalist, he is an acknowledged authority on architecture, the countryside and the British way of life, subjects on which he contributes to a variety of publications and broadcast media, as well as his old magazine.
In 2014, Clive published his first novel The Birdcage, which is set in Salonika and evolved out of the letters, diaries and memoirs that he read while researching his book War Memorial, published in 2012. Since The Birdcage he has written more novels which will be published soon.
The most recent of Clive’s many non-fiction books is The Age of Empire.
Married with three children, he lives in London and Ramsgate.
David Dimbleby describes Clive’s writing as ‘charming, erudite, amusing… His energy, enthusiasm and learning, always lightly worn, are prodigious.’
David Bickle BA (Hons) Dip Arch RIBA is an architect by profession and was appointed Director of Design, Exhibitions and FuturePlan at the Victoria and Albert Museum in May 2015. He is responsible for the physical manifestation of the V&A ‘brand’ from printed material and posters to the new V&A Museum within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
David is an external examiner at the University of the Creative Arts and the University of the Arts London and is a member of Lewisham's Design Review Panel and Croydon’s Place Review Panel. He sits on the boards of Oily Cart and Tannery Arts. He is a patron of the Drawing Room and more recently was invited to join the London Festival of Architecture’s Advisory Group.
Ben is the Senior Director for the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community where he is responsible for communication, research, urban and architectural projects as well as education.
Ben has led over 50 collaborative planning and design frameworks for projects ranging in scale from a new city in Gabon to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. The current portfolio of around 40 projects consists of city expansions, new towns, brownfield remediation, town centre regeneration, heritage, ecclesiastical, healthcare and ecological projects. Ben is currently overseeing the urban and architectural outputs for four mixed-use developments in the UK consisting of around 20,000 dwellings in total.
Ben teaches at Oxford and Trinity Saint David Universities, and has taught or lectured at Notre Dame, Yale, Cambridge and Robert Gordon Universities.
Ben is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, the Architecture Club, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and board member of Coed Darcy Ltd, the Form-Based Codes Institute and Stroma consulting.
After leaving Edinburgh University, Ptolemy Dean BSc (Hons) DipArch (Edin) RIBA RIAS AABC won an ICOMOS scholarship to document mud adobe structures in New Mexico and Arizona. He then worked for Peter Inskip and Peter Jenkins Architects on a variety of Grade I listed buildings, including Stowe, Chastleton and Waddesdon Manor. In 1993 he was one of the SPAB Lethaby Scholars, studying active repair methods on some of the country’s most prestigious sites. The final three month Plunkett Memorial section of this was spent researching the country houses of Sir John Soane. A fellowship to research the ‘minor’ country works of Soane followed, which led to an exhibition in the Soane Museum entitled ‘Soane Revisited’ and the publication of a book on Soane’s country practice, ‘Sir John Soane and the Country Estate’ (1999). This was followed by a book on Sir John Soane’s London practice ‘Sir John Soane and London’ (2004). In 1997 he attended the Attingham Summer School for the study of the English Country House.
Ptolemy Dean joined Richard Griffiths Architects in 1994 and was made an Associate in 1997. In July 2005 Ptolemy Dean established Ptolemy Dean Architects. A number of projects have won awards, including the work at Easton Neston which won regional and national RIBA awards in 2012. A further book, ‘Britain’s Buildings, Places and Spaces’ was published in 2008. In March 2012 Ptolemy Dean was appointed Surveyor of the Fabric at Westminster Abbey.
Following the fire at Clandon in 2015, Ptolemy Dean Architects was appointed by the National Trust as a project adviser, following a competitive interview.
In late 2012, Helen moved to become Director-General of the National Trust from the Civil Service, where she worked in a wide range of Government departments on social and environmental policy issues, including seven years as a Permanent Secretary at Defra and the Home Office.
Since joining the Trust, Helen’s interest in history, people and places, and her commitment to the environment have come together. Helen has overseen an ambitious programme of work, including leading the development of the Trust’s 10-year strategy, Playing Our Part, and committing £2 million a week to the conservation of landscapes, houses and coastline.
Helen is a long-term member of the Trust and of her local Wildlife Trust in Oxfordshire. She is married to an academic and has a son and daughter, who are in their twenties. She lives in Oxford, and includes family life, looking after her allotment, walking and watching ballet among her relaxations.
Dame Penelope Keith, DBE, DL, is a renowned English actress, who serves as President of the National Trust West Surrey and lives near Clandon Park. She is President of the Actors’ Benevolent Fund, and was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2014 for services to the arts and to charity.
Currently a Trustee of the King George V Fund, Trustee of the Brooklands Museum, member of the Appeal Council of the National Memorial Arboretum Appeal, and Trustee of the Theatres Trust, Dame Penelope has also served as a member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (1990-1996) and President of the South of England Agricultural Society (2013).
Dame Penelope was the High Sherriff of Surrey 2002-2003, and in addition to her work with the National Trust locally, she is President of the Surrey County Agricultural Society.
Born in 1951, Chris was educated in Edinburgh and then Pembroke College, Cambridge, achieving a double first in English (and later a PhD on Wordsworth and Coleridge) and was also a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard.
Chris began his political career as a Labour Councillor for Islington Borough, becoming MP for Islington South and Finsbury in 1983. In 1992 he joined the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Environmental Protection, and two years later moved to Heritage, then Social Security and Health. When Labour came to power in 1997 he became Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and Chairman of the Millennium Commission. During his four years as Secretary of State he restored free admission to national museums and galleries, established NESTA, the Film Council, Creative Partnerships for schools, and the Foundation for Youth Music, expanded funding for the arts and sport, championed the creative industries for the first time in Government, and began the switchover process for digital television. He returned to the back benches in 2001 and played a leading role in opposing the Iraq war, standing down from the Commons in 2005. Immediately afterwards he was made a life peer, taking his seat in the House of Lords in July 2005. He currently sits on the crossbenches as an independent Peer.
In 2003 he became Director of the Clore Leadership Programme, helping to develop the potential of future leaders in the cultural sector; he stepped down in July 2008 to become Chairman of the Environment Agency. He chaired the Environment Agency from 2008 to 2014; since 2007 he has also been Chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority. He was Chairman of the Task Force on Shale Gas in 2014-15, and in 2014 became Chairman of the Art Fund. He was Chairman of Judges for the Man Booker Prize in 2004, and Chairman of the Donmar Warehouse Theatre until 2014. In 2011-12 he led the Review of Film Policy for the Government. He is also a Non-Executive Director of PPL, and Chairman of the Wordsworth Trust. Since October 2015 he has been Master of Pembroke College in Cambridge.
Baroness Lola Young was an actor, and an arts administrator, before becoming a Professor of Cultural Studies. As well as having been a writer, cultural critic, public speaker and broadcaster, Lola was Head of Culture at the Greater London Authority before becoming an Independent Crossbench Member of the House of Lords. In parliament, her areas of interest are ethics and sustainability in fashion, criminal and social justice issues and campaigning against modern forms of slavery.
A former board member of the South Bank Centre, the Royal National Theatre, and The National Archives, and currently a Commissioner at Historic England, Lola has chaired the Orange Prize for Literature, the Caine Prize for African Literature, and been a judge on the Art Fund Prize and The Observer newspaper Ethical Awards.
Baroness Young holds honorary doctorates from Middlesex University, the University of the Arts London, and Sussex University and is the 2017 Chair of the Man Booker Prize for Literature judging panel.
Photograph: Janie Airey
After graduating from City of Birmingham University with an Economics BA (Hons), Paul worked in the media and advertising industries for Reed Business Information on brands such as New Scientist, Farmers Weekly and Estates Gazette and for Ogilvy Primary Contact – part of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and WPP, which is the largest marketing services organisation in the world. Paul joined the National Trust in December 2012 as General Manager for the Mottisfont portfolio, including the northern commons of the New Forest. In March 2015, Paul was appointed Project Director leading the Clandon project, which is the most significant restoration project undertaken by the National Trust in a generation.
The competition is being managed by Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC). Malcolm, an architect by training, founded the company after six years as Director of Design and Architecture at the British Council. He has overseen international architectural competitions for leading organisations, including the V&A; the Foreign & Commonwealth Office; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation; Mumbai City Museum; Glasgow School of Art; New College, Oxford; and the Natural History Museum. He was on the Board of Historic Royal Palaces from 2005-2014, is a Trustee of English Heritage, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He joined the Sovereign Grant Audit Committee in June 2015.
Malcolm was President of the 2014 Prix W architectural prize, and a judge of World Architecture News’ 21 for 21 Award; the American Institute of Architects’ UK Excellence in Design Award; and World Architecture News’ Education Award 2015. He writes regularly for the Architects’ Journal.