Diane Lees, former Director of the V&A?s Museum of Childhood, takes up post as the new Director-General of the Imperial War Museum on 1 October, with overall responsibility for the Museum?s five branches and collections archives.
Diane Lees replaces Sir Robert Crawford CBE who will retire as Director-General on 30 September 2008, a position he has held since 1995.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Squire, Chairman of the Board of Trustees said: ?The Museum?s Board of Trustees and staff welcomes Diane Lees as the new Director-General of the Imperial War Museum. Sir Robert Crawford has played a pivotal role in making the Imperial War Museum what it is today and we are extremely grateful to him for his outstanding contribution.
Diane Lees joins the Museum at an exciting time as it marks the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War and reflects on its original purpose as ?a lasting memorial of common effort and common sacrifice? to those who played their part in the First World War, a remit which has subsequently expanded to cover all aspects of Commonwealth conflict up to the present day. Looking to the future, the Museum will continue to review and redefine its purpose to ensure its place as the World?s premiere museum of modern conflict that enriches people?s understanding of the causes, course and consequences of modern war and its impact on individuals and society.?
Culture Minister Margaret Hodge said: ?Diane Lees has done an amazing job at the Museum of Childhood. I am sure that she will be excellent in leading the Imperial War Museum in its exciting next phase of development and I?m delighted to see another woman join the ranks of the leaders in the museums sector. I wish her all the best as our newest national museum director.?
Diane Lees said: ?I am delighted to take up post as Director-General of the Imperial War Museum. The Imperial War Museum is unique in that it touches on all of our history, focusing on everyone?s story as it explores the history of modern war and people?s experience of war and wartime life in Britain and the Commonwealth. I?m thrilled to be joining the Museum at this exciting time and look forward to ensuring it continues to evolve and develop to reflect the history of all its visitors in the 21st Century.?
As Director of the V&A Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green, Diane Lees had a specific brief to transform the museum and create a sustainable future for this East End site, she also chaired the V&A?s UK Steering Group. Beginning as an historic buildings researcher and moving into exhibitions, education and interpretation she has worked on some of the most challenging and exciting projects in the country including the rescue and relocation of a hat block manufacturers workshop in central Manchester; the recovery and display of the Mary Rose ship in Portsmouth Harbour and the redisplay of the Nelson Galleries at the Royal Naval Museum. She project managed the creation of the UK standard for the recording of information about museum collections (SPECTRUM) and was responsible for the creation of the only museum of law in the Country (the multi-award winning Galleries of Justice in Nottingham). She is a trustee of the Story Museum in Oxford, a trustee of the Army Museums Ogilby Trust, Vice Chair of the Association of Independent Museums and a Trustee of Kids in Museums.