Ben Uri Governance

Senior Professional Team and Board of Trustees

Professional leadership

Sarah MacDougall (MA, University of Reading) is the Eva Frankfurther Research and Curatorial Fellow for the study of Émigré Artists/Head of Collections at Ben Uri Gallery and Museum: Art Identity Migration.  She is jointly responsible for exhibition programming, curation and publications with Rachel Dickson.  She specialises in artists who arrived in Britain at the end of the nineteenth/early twentieth and the mid-twentieth centuries, predominantly Jewish émigrés, particularly the so-called ‘Whitechapel Boys’.  Her publications include a biography of Mark Gertler (John Murray, 2002), a forthcoming Gertler catalogue raisonne (Yale University Press, 2018), a joint, British Academy funded research paper with Professor Aviva Burnstock, Courtauld Institute of Art (due 2017), a website dedicated to the work of Eva Frankfurther (1930-1959), and (with Rachel Dickson), a new monograph on David Bomberg.  She is a Committee member of the Research Centre for the German and Austrian Exile Studies at London University, and co-editor of the forthcoming year book on émigrés and the applied arts (due 2018). She has spoken at numerous conferences in the UK and within wider Europe and has published a number of papers on émigré artists.  She has been with Ben Uri since 2002 and is privy to Board minutes.

Rachel Dickson (MA, Courtauld Institute), Head of Curatorial Services, has curated for Ben Uri since 2002 and is jointly responsible with Sarah MacDougall for the exhibitions, publications and research.  Solo curatorial projects include : Judy Chicago, Louise Bourgeois, Helen Chadwick, Tracey Emin  –  A Transatlantic Narrative (2012-2013), the first UK museum retrospective for ground-breaking American artist, Judy Chicago and The Inspiration of Decadence: Dodo Burgner A Journey from Berlin to London 1907-1998 (2012, in collaboration with Staatliche Museen zu Berlin). Curatorial collaborations include Ben Uri’s centenary exhibition Out of Chaos (Somerset House, 2015: Christie’s London, 2016); Uproar!: The First 50 Years of the London Group 1913-1963 (2013-2014); Forced Journeys : Artists in Exile, c. 1933-1945 (touring 2009-2010); Whitechapel at War: Isaac Rosenberg and his Circle (touring 2008); Embracing the Exotic: Jacob Epstein & Dora Gordine (touring 2006); Rediscovering Wolmark: A pioneer of British Modernism (touring 2004-2005); Regard and Ritual: Julie Held and Shanti Panchal (touring 2007); The Tortoise and The Hare: Jacob Kramer and William Roberts (touring 2003).

Rachel has a research specialism in the two waves of Jewish artists who immigrated to Britain in the last 150 Years, co-editing and contributing to numerous publications accompanying Ben Uri exhibitions.  She has also presented academic papers in the UK and Europe and is currently a member of the Research Committee for German and Austrian Exile Studies, University of London, co-editing of Year Book, Volume 19, which focuses on émigré and the applied arts, due for publication in 2018. Rachel is privy to Board minutes.

Scholarship at Ben Uri
Ben Uri has, at its core, a commitment to accessible scholarship across various levels of academia. We support our senior curators in their research, particularly focusing on refugee and immigrant artists (either first or second generation), thus furthering their international reputations and enabling them to continue to develop their areas of expertise. 

See details of publications and papers for Rachel Dickson and Sarah MacDougall.

Katy Barron (BA Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London; M. Litt. Magdalen College, University of Oxford) has been Ben Uri’s freelance curator of the contemporary and specifically photography since 2009. She serves on the Board of Positive View– a charitable foundation that raises funds for philanthropic work through large-scale photography exhibitions and auctions and the Maud Sulter Advisory Board – a panel that advises the executors of the Estate of Maud Sulter on the management of her significant artistic legacy.

Prior to establishing her own curatorial and advisory practice she was Head of Photography at Purdy Hicks Gallery in London from 2003-2009; Assistant curator of paintings at the Royal Collection 1995-2003; Curatorial assistant at the National Museum of Wales 1992-1995.

She has curated extensively and her exhibitions have shown at the V&A, Abbot Hall, Holburne Museum, Harewood House and regularly at Ben Uri amongst others in the UK and abroad.

Board of Trustees

David Glasser is Executive Chair of the institution although he does not chair monthly Board meetings as he operates as Director of the museum.  Born in Glasgow, he built his corporate career at Marks and Spencer Plc where he pioneered the Food Only Store concept and then at Ward White Group Plc, where he was responsible for development and marketing functions, up to the acquisition of the company by Boots Plc. He formed Northgate Consultancy, which advised on strategic development and was involved in a number of businesses from 1990 -2000. He became involved in Ben Uri in the late 90s and agreed to lead the development of a new strategic plan to re-invigorate and re-establish the museum.  In October 2000 he was elected Executive Chair and has operated since in this role full time on a pro-bono basis.  To avoid any personal or corporate conflicts of interest he withdrew from business in 2001 and of collecting to focus on creating a new style of visitor engaging museum addressing contemporary issues and social integration through the visual and creative arts.

David is on the Court of the London South Bank University, a member of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars and is a Freeman of the City of London.

Hilary Bauer OBE (BA, (Honours) French, Southampton University) is co-deputy Chair and a former head of the Cultural Property Unit at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.  She is now an independent adviser on Culture and Heritage and is member of the Board of Towner Gallery Eastbourne, of Keep Britain Tidy and of the Lord Mayor’s Cultural Scholarships programme (which arranges internships for sixth form members of various South London schools). Her especial interest is in the preservation of the artistic and other forms of our unique heritage. Hillary chairs the monthly Board meetings.

Michael Posen studied economics and subsequently business management at the LSE.  After 6 years in industry Michael joined Chase Manhattan Bank specialising in property finance.  He became Managing Director of the merchant banking arm of Continental Illinois Bank and was subsequently Senior Vice President and General Manager of First Interstate Bank in London.  He was Director of HDG Harbour Development Group from 1979 to 1987 and then founded his own company, Earl Estates Ltd, which he still runs.

For the last 16 years Michael has been serving on a BIS tribunal, assessing claims for compensation by victims of Nazi persecution whose funds in the UK had been confiscated as belonging to enemy aliens during the last war. For the last 3 years Michael has been an executive director of Puma Heritage Ltd, an associate company of Shore Capital.

For the last 25 years Michael has been a trustee of the Ben Uri and for the last 10 years a joint Deputy Chairman.   Since becoming Deputy Chair, Michael has worked closely with the Chair, David Glasser, on the strategy of broadening the role of the museum to include the wider immigration experience. Michael substitutes for Hilary Bauer, if absent, in chairing monthly Board meetings.

Simon Bentley chairs and is on the board of a range of companies and organisations. Among these, he is the Senior Independent Director of Sports Direct International Plc, Chairman of the hair brand Umberto Giannini, is the principal owner and Chairman of the leading mobile ATM operator Cash on the Move, is a Supervisory Board Director of Global Home, a designer and manufacturer of indoor furniture for retailers, based in Vietnam, and is Chairman of Yad Vashem UK Foundation.