National Museum Wales has announced the appointment of David Anderson as its new Director General.
Mr Anderson was formerly director of learning and interpretation at London's Victoria and Albert Museum and has immediately been tasked with helping his new employer become a “world-class” institution.
In his previous role, he led the development of the V&A Museum's new £4 million Sackler Centre for Arts Education. The centre opened in 2008 and formed the groundbreaking National Museums Online Learning Project, which is the only public project that national museums have joined forces for.
He will begin his new role in October 2010 and is joining the Welsh institution at an exciting period in its history.
A National History Museum at St Fagans is being developed, while good progress is being made on the conversion of the first floor of National Museum Cardiff to the National Museum of Art for Wales. The ground floor of National Museum Cardiff is also scheduled for designation as Wales’ Natural History Museum.
Mr Anderson is replacing the departing Michael Houlihan, who’s leaving to start a new life in New Zealand as Chief Executive of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
In announcing the new appointment President Paul Loveluck said: “Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales) plays a vitally important role in the life of the nation. People feel passionately about it and the national collections in its care. David Anderson shares that passion and will be a leader who will enthuse about the role the Museum can play in Welsh life.
“Given his particular expertise, David Anderson is well placed to take forward the vision on making Amgueddfa Cymru a World Class Museum of Learning and further enhancing its contribution to the cultural life of Wales.”
National Museum Wales operates seven museums across the country including: National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans: National History Museum, National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon, Big Pit: National Coal Museum, Blaenafon, National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre, National Slate Museum, Llanberis and the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.
David Anderson’s career highlights:
• An OBE in 1999 for services to museums and education;
• The development of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group in London’s first cultural quarter - which has become an independent limited company with charitable status;
• 70 published works including the UK-wide Government report A Common Wealth: Museums in the Learning Age (DCMS, 1999);
• Advisor to the Government over many years on a wide range of initiatives, including Culture Online, Creative Partnerships and a national museum and gallery education strategy;
• The creation of the V&A’s acclaimed new £4 million Sackler Centre for Arts Education, which opened in 2008;
• The formation of a consortium of nine national museums to create the National Museums Online Learning Project – the only public project that national museums have undertaken together – launched in 2009;
• The pioneering digital partnership project Every Object Tells a Story – an early user-contribution website with stories about objects uploaded by the public;
• Author of the best-selling children’s books, The Spanish Armada (1988) and the Mutiny on the Bounty (1989).