Chairman-Designate Appointed to Charleston’s Council of Trustees

The Charleston Trust is pleased to announce that Professor Michael Farthing, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sussex, will take up the position of Chairman of The Charleston Trust on 17th June 2016 as Nigel Newton’s six years as Chairman of Charleston end on that date. Michael was recently elected as Chairman-Designate by the Trustee Council.

Prior to his role at the University of Sussex, Michael Farthing, a physician and medical researcher, was Principal and Professor of Medicine at St George’s, University of London. He is also the former President of the British Society of Gastroenterology and a member of the General Medical Council.

Nigel Newton is Founder and Chief Executive of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. He is also Chairman of the British Library Trust and President of Book Aid.

Commenting on Michael Farthing’s appointment, Nigel Newton said

“Michael Farthing has served as a trustee and member of our Building Committee since March 2014 and, along with his wife Alison McLean, a member of our Appeal Committee, has been deeply involved in the life of Charleston for many years – including chairing a number of events at the Charleston Festival.  As Vice Chancellor of the University of Sussex, Michael has had a profound and positive impact on Higher Education and on life in Sussex, including the recent opening of the Attenborough Centre for the Arts, which he led.  I am pleased to be handing The Charleston Trust into Michael’s capable hands.”

Director of Charleston, Alistair Burtenshaw, said

“I would like to welcome Michael as our future Chairman. I would also like to thank Nigel Newton for his leadership as Chairman of Charleston. Charleston’s long term financial and artistic sustainability have grown during his Chairmanship. In particular, Nigel has successfully led the delivery of Charleston’s Centenary Project, which, following the completion of a new access road and car park in 2015, gets underway this Spring with the commencement of building works to the new galleries and remedial works to the Grade II listed barns. During his terms as Chairman, considerable conservation projects have been undertaken in the House and Gardens, both Charleston Festival and the Small Wonder Festival have significantly grown and developed in terms of their artistic remit and two new international prizes – to celebrate individuals whose work has been in the spirit of John Maynard Keynes, and for a lifetime’s achievement in short fiction – have been launched.  I would like to add my thanks to Nigel for his guidance and vision. Thanks to his leadership, The Charleston Trust enters 2016 on a strong footing for the future.”

Virginia Nicholson:

Virginia Nicholson, Deputy Chairman of the Trustees steps down as a trustee on 17th June 2016 after the completion of her term of office.

Nigel Newton, Chairman of the Trustees commented:

“Virginia Nicholson has had a profoundly important effect on Charleston over many decades, most recently as a Trustee and Deputy Chairman of the Trust, and one that I very much hope will continue over the coming years. I would like to thank Virginia for her dedication, passion and commitment to Charleston, which she first visited as a young child, when it was home to her Grandmother, Vanessa Bell, and Duncan Grant. Virginia’s unique perspective and in-depth knowledge of the art, ideals and lives of the Bloomsbury group have made her contribution even more important”.

Alistair Burtenshaw, Director of Charleston said:

“It has been a personal privilege to work in such close partnership with Virginia Nicholson over the last three years and I very much look forward to working with her in the months and years to come as trustees and staff continue our vital work to safeguard Charleston, the Bloomsbury Home of Art and Ideas. As a renowned social historian focused on the twentieth century Virginia understands perfectly Charleston’s wider context. As a daughter of the Bloomsbury group, Virginia has had an incredibly positive impact on life at Charleston – not least its art, literature, and values. Her encyclopaedic knowledge of the house and its occupants and warm, welcoming and passionate advocacy has proved absolutely invaluable to all aspects of our work – from conservation all the way through to fundraising”.

Other Trustee Council Announcements:

The staff and trustees of The Charleston Trust would like to thank Mark Harwood, who stepped down as a Trustee in February 2016 having played a key role in overseeing the financial management of the Trust in recent years. We are particularly grateful that Mark has agreed to continue as Chair of the Business and Finance Committee, a role he has fulfilled to great effect in recent years.

The Trust would also like to thank Gillian Wolfe, CBE, one of the UK’s leading museum learning specialists, who stepped down as a trustee in November 2015 after completing two full terms of office. Renowned throughout the museum learning sector for her transformational work at Dulwich Picture Gallery over many years, Gillian played a crucial role in developing Charleston’s Public Programmes and Learning activities and the plans for its new Creative Learning Studio in the soon-to-be-rebuilt Granary. This key part of the Centenary Project has already secured considerable funding from trusts and foundations such as the Heritage Lottery Fund and Garfield Weston Foundation.
The Charleston Trust is also pleased to welcome two new trustees to its Trustee Council this year – Dame Pippa Harris and Jon Snow. Dame Pippa is a renowned film and TV producer who established Neal Street Productions together with Sam Mendes and Caro Newling and has produced films and TV shows including Starter for Ten, Stuart a Life Backwards and Call the Midwife on the BBC. She is also on the board of BAFTA. Historically, Pippa connects to Bloomsbury through her grandmother, Noel Olivier, who knew many of the group. TV presenter and journalist, Jon Snow, is best known for presenting Channel 4 News. He has served on the Boards of Britain’s National Gallery, and Tate Gallery and for thirty years as Chairman of the New Horizon Youth Centre, a London day centre for homeless and vulnerable teenagers. In 2015 was awarded the prestigious BAFTA Fellowship.

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