New executive director, Chris Kirby

As the museum enters an exciting new phase, we are pleased to announce the appointment of a new executive director, Chris Kirby.

Chris said: ‘I am delighted to be joining The Burton at this exciting time now that, following its recent switch to charitable foundation status and rebranding, the gallery and museum is about to start on its biggest adventure to date.

‘We’ve just been awarded hugely significant National Portfolio Organisation status (from 2018), and are also preparing for a major capital development in 2020, which will combine the gallery and museum with the Bideford Library to create a vibrant creative hub of national note.

‘We’re looking forward to working with the local communities to build the Burton’s role. With our permanent collection which includes a large number of nationally-important ceramics and exciting programme of exhibitions, we aspire to the cultural recognition awarded to Tate St Ives.

Chris brings with him over 20 years’ experience in the cultural sector which included working as an archaeologist in Egypt and the UK. He was a curator in the Chinese and India department at the British Museum and Egyptian antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, as well as working as manager at Tewkesbury Borough Museum and Coventry Museums.

As director of collections at the latter, his responsibilities included the care and presentation of the nationally-important Coventry Car Collection and he successfully delivered a number of high profile exhibitions including with National partners such as the Victoria & Albert Museum and British Museum.

Chair of Trustees at The Burton at Bideford, Judith Gentry, said: ‘This must be one of the most exciting arts jobs in the country right now with the opportunities that exist to make something big happen in Bideford, so we’re thrilled to have Chris in the role at this significant time. The Trustees and I look forward to working with and supporting him.’

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