ASHMOLEAN MANAGEMENT

The Ashmolean is structured under 5 departments:

  1. Operations
  2. Collections
  3. Public Engagement
  4. Development
  5. Commercial

Find out more about the different departments and the people behind them below.

 


 

ASHMOLEAN DIRECTOR

 

Dr Xa Sturgis
Dr Xa Sturgis

 

Dr Xa Sturgis is the Ashmolean Director

 

First job: I wound electrical wire onto spools in a small factory in Camden Town.

Interesting fact: I came joint 3rd in the Young Magician of the Year Competition in 1981.

​​


 

OPERATIONS

The Ashmolean Operations Department is the Front Line of the Museum. All our Visitor Service Assistants who you see in our galleries are part of the Operations Department, along with Health, Safety and Security and our Museum Services.

 

Rachel Davies
Rachel Davies

 

Rachel Davies is Operations Director

 

Visitor Experience

 

Kingston Myles
Kingston Miles

 

Kingston Miles is Head of Visitor Experience

 

First job: Working for a pub in the middle of nowhere as a kitchen porter. I lasted about 2 months before I left and went to work for Curry’s where I stayed for nearly 2 years.

Interesting fact: I was once on American ABC nightline news for a teen repellent device while representing my local authority at a British Youth Council event.

 

Human Resources

The Ashmolean’s HR team is responsible for recruitment, internal communications, holidays, pensions and staff welfare. They also organise the all staff Christmas dinner, Summer Party (as well as employee training and professional development opportunities)

 

Laureen McHaffie
Laureen McHaffie

 

Laureen McHaffie is Head of Human Resources

 

First job: I washed dishes in a restaurant

Interesting job: I was a 16th century serving wench at Walt Disney World Florida for a year

 

Finance

The Ashmolean Finance team looks after the Museum’s accounts and budgets.

 

Andrew Noton is Head of Finance

 

Health, Safety and Security

Mike Finneran is Head of Health, Safety and Security

 

First job: Stacking shelves at Gateway Supermarket in Stroud whilst studying for my A levels

Interesting fact: As part of a five person Royal Air Force team I took part in a 256 mile cycle ride from Welford, Berkshire to Land’s End completed over 5 days to raise money for the Special Care Baby Unit in Swindon.


 

COMMERCIAL

The Commercial Department operates a thriving retail, catering, publishing and venue hire business. In addition, the Department manages the Membership programme (Friends & Corporate), licensing portfolio, picture library and photography studio.

The Ashmolean commercial profit is invested back into the museum to support the annual operating costs, to enhance the collections and further the Museum's research.

 

Lycia Lobo
Lycia Lobo

 

Lycia Lobo is the Commercial Director

 

First job: I worked as a sales assistant at Waterstones at weekends

Interesting Fact: I competed internationally for GB in Judo.

 

Events

 

Wendy Ball
Wendy Ball

 

Wendy Ball is Head of Events

 

First Job: I was a Saturday sales assistant at my local newsagent...I earned enough in my first month to buy my parents a bottle of 'Black Tower' wine!

Interesting fact: I climbed Mount Blanc, Chamonix with little more than a pair of crampons, an ice axe, my husband (it was our honeymoon) and a very competent (and patient) mountain guide.

 

Publications and Licensing

 

Declan McCarthy is Head of Publishing and Licensing

 


 

COLLECTIONS

The Ashmolean has 7 different departments: Antiquities, Eastern Art, Western Art, the Heberden Coin Room and Cast Gallery are all responsible for the administration, scholarship and curatorship of our objects. Conservation and University Engagement work with objects across the different departments to preserve (in the case of conservation) and engage the wider university in using object based learning in their taught courses and assessments.

 

Antiquities

The Department of Antiquities contains internationally renowned archaeological collections with particular strengths in Prehistoric Europe, the Ancient Near East, Ancient Egypt and Sudan, Minoan Aegean, Mycenaean and Classical Greece, Ancient Cyprus, the Roman world and Medieval and later Europe. We also hold the Museum's Founding Collection and historic archives.

 

Dr Paul Roberts
Dr Paul Roberts

 

Dr Paul Roberts is the Sackler Keeper of Antiquities

 

First job: I was a kitchen operative for Ross Frozen Food Services on the M50

Interesting fact: I nearly died in 1987 when contracted Typhoid in Turkey!

 

Western Art

The Department of Western Art houses outstanding collections of European fine and decorative arts from the Renaissance to the present day. They include Old Master and later paintings, drawings, watercolours, and prints; English and continental ceramics, sculpture, silver, watches, rings, and musical instruments.

 

Dr Catherine Whistler
Professor Catherine Whistler

 

Dr Catherine Whistler is Keeper of Western Art

 

First job: I worked at weekends as a sales assistant in Dunnes Stores – Ireland’s equivalent to M&S - in Stillorgan shopping centre, Dublin

Interesting fact: I spent an amazing 6 weeks travelling in a Ford transit van with Italian friends around Greece, Turkey and Syria in 1982, camping out and most memorably sleeping under the stars in Palmyra.

 

Eastern Art

The Department of Eastern Art is managed by geographic area with specialist curators for art from the Islamic world, India and Southeast Asia, China and Korea, and Japan. Promoting the collections as an educational resource is a key area of the Department’s activities; the curators teach and supervise students, provide special access to the collections for research purposes and publish their own research.

 

Dr Mallica Kumbera Landrus
Dr Mallica Kumbera Landrus

 

Dr Mallica Kumbera Landrus is Keeper of Eastern Art

 

First Job: Photographing, scanning, preparing and labelling 35mm slides for a University Visual Resources Centre.

Interesting Fact: Volunteered at Mother Theresa's orphanage and old peoples home for over six years.

 

Heberden Coin Room

The Heberden Coin Room is one of the leading international coin cabinets with particular strengths in the fields of Greek, Roman, Celtic, Byzantine, Medieval, Islamic and Chinese coinages. We also hold collections of paper money, tokens, jetons, and commemorative art medals.

 

Dr Julian Baker is Acting Keeper of the Heberden Coin Room

First job: I was a gardener at an old peoples home.

Interesting Fact: I speak English, French, Dutch, German, Italian and Greek.

 

Cast Gallery

The Ashmolean Cast Gallery is one of the oldest, largest, and best-preserved collections of casts of Greek and Roman sculpture in the UK, containing some 900 plaster casts of statues, reliefs, and architectural sculptures.

 

Professor Bert Smith
Professor Bert Smith

 

Professor R.R.R. Smith is Keeper of the Cast Gallery

 

First Job: I drove a van and did the washing up.

Interesting Fact: In spite of many years trying, I remain unable to play the Purple Haze riff…

 

Conservation

The conservation department is responsible for the care and protection of Ashmolean objects. We have dedicated teams and techniques for the conservation of paper, textiles, objects and paintings. Each conservation project reveals a new side to an object. By using techniques like x-ray, radiography and RTI technology you get a 360 degree view of what lies beneath the surface of some of our most prized objects in our collections.

 

Dr Daniel Bone
Dr Daniel Bone

 

Daniel Bone is the Head of Conservation

 

First job:
Making pasties for Ron Dewdneys bakery outside Devonport Dockyard. Ron and brother Ivor made the best pasties in Plymouth.

Interesting fact:
I rode to my wedding on a horse, the first time I’d ever been on one.

 

University Engagement

The University Engagement Programme (UEP) aims to extend cross-disciplinary teaching and learning through objects and to reach students who would not otherwise learn through art as part of their courses.

 

Dr Giovanna Vitelli
Dr Giovanna Vitelli

 

Dr Giovanna Vitelli is Director of the University Engagement Programme

 

First job: I taught small children how to sail dinghies and tie nautical knots.

Interesting Fact: I was the first ever woman student to walk in the door of Magdalen College.

 


 

DEVELOPMENT

The Development team encourages and enables philanthropy to the Ashmolean. They work with public funders, trusts and foundations, private donors and our Friends, Patrons, visitors and legators to support the Museum’s short and long term plans, from putting on exhibitions and offering free lectures and events, to conserving and digitising our collections to offer global access to them. Their current top priority is to build a robust sustainable endowment: “The Ashmolean Fund” for the long term benefit of the Museum and its visitors. 

 

Francesca Hewitt
Francesca Hewitt

 

Francesca Hewitt is Head of Development

 

First job: I worked for a catering company: waitressing, preparing food and counting out hundreds of forks, knives and plates!

Interesting Fact: I love scuba diving.

 


 

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

The Public Engagement Department is responsible for our print and digital communications, press, design, our public events, our exhibitions teams and registrars as well as our educational programme and access.

 

Susan McCormack
Susan McCormack

 

Susan McCormack is Director of Public Engagement

 

First job: From 13, I worked part time as a veterinary nurse.

Interesting fact: I first came to Oxford at the end of a year and a half backpacking round the world, after I'd finished university. 

 

Education

 

Jo Rice
Jo Rice

 

Jo Rice is Head of Education

 

First Job: I worked on the tills at Leos Superstore in Barnsley.

Interesting fact: I competed at Womens Henley Regatta.

 

Design

 

Graeme Cambell is Head of Design

 

Registrars

 

Aisha Burtenshaw
Aisha Burtenshaw

 

Aisha Burtenshaw is Senior Registrar and Head of Touring Exhibitions

 

First job: cutting net curtains in a drapery store in Oxford city centre.

Interesting fact: I once acted in a play alongside Colin Firth and Minnie Driver in the Oxford Playhouse theatre.

 


 

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