Trustees of Museums Sheffield
Museums Sheffield is a charity governed by a voluntary Board of Trustees:
Chair - John Cowling
John Cowling is a Chartered Accountant. He retired from PriceWaterhouseCooper in 2012 having been partner with the firm for over 20 years. He was the Senior Partner of the Sheffield office and a member of the firm's Northern leadership scheme; during his 30 year career with the firm he worked in London, New York and nearly all of the firm’s northern offices.
While at PwC, John gained a wide variety of industry experience, from manufacturing companies to retailers and the service sector. He has worked with clients ranging from small privately owned businesses to large, publicly owned, multi-national corporations.
John brings local business connections and commercial advice to the board as well as financial skills. He is a strong support of business involvement in the community and was for a number of years Chairman of BITC in South Yorkshire. He is currently the Chair of Music in the Round, the national chamber music charity based in Sheffield.
John was born in Sheffield and educated at Bromsgrove School in Worcestershire. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant he became a junior partner of Pannel Kerr Forster before leaving to join the Eardley Group in 1969. This company became British Syphon Industries plc when he was appointed financial director and chairman of the manufacturing division. In the last 15 years before retirement in 2010 he was financial director of the Fretwell Downing Group in Sheffield.
He has spent 9 years as a Member of Council of Sheffield University as well as serving on the Finance Committee and Audit Committee where he remains a member.He is Chairman of the Institute of Cancer Studies and AMRC Management Ltd both within the University.
In 2006/07 he was High Sheriff of South Yorkshire and from that experience he was appointed to the board of Sheffield People United Against Crime and also Paces, which runs a school for children with Cerebral Palsy where he is now Chairman. For 10 years ending 2008 he was Chairman of the Sheffield Diocesan Board of Finance and is now on the Finance and Development Committees of Sheffield Cathedral.
His personal interests are painting,music, walking, his garden and, of course, his family.
Dr Antonia Bostrom
Antonia began her museum career as an assistant curator, first at the National Portrait Gallery, followed by the V&A. After periods as a commissioning editor on The Grove Dictionary of Art at Macmillan Publishers, and as curator of the permanent collections at the Royal Academy of Arts, Antonia moved to the Detroit Institute of Arts where she co-authored the Catalogue of Italian Sculpture at the Detroit Institute of Arts (published 2003).
In 2004, Antonia moved to the J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, as Senior Curator and Head of the Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department, where she led the teams reinstalling several galleries of the department’s permanent displays, and was lead curator for the 2012 exhibition Messerschmidt and Modernity. From Los Angeles, she moved to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City where she was Director of Curatorial Affairs, with oversight of the Curatorial, Conservation and Registrar’s departments and a member of the Museum’s Strategic Leadership Group.
She joined the V&A in 2016 as Keeper of the Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass Department, where she manages the Department and is a member of the Museum’s Management Forum. She serves on the board of the Brice Charitable Foundation, Los Angeles (dedicated to the work of the US painter, William Brice) and on the advisory council of Vistas, New York. She is currently the V&A nominated trustee to the Gilbert Collection.
Darren Chouings FRSA
Darren Chouings studied at Sheffield Hallam University, graduating in 2008 with a first class degree in Contemporary Fine Art. His career to date has included a multitude of roles spanning across higher education, animation, contemporary arts curation and production management.
Having started his own international arts events programme PRISM in 2008, Darren later took on events management roles at Sheffield Doc/Fest, Sensoria, Lovebytes and Algomech. As an experienced events professional, he now leads production for The Children’s Media Conference and also the new children's media exhibition Playground.
Darren is passionate about startup business development and leads on startup support for social entrepreneurs at The University of Sheffield. Alongside supporting the development of these businesses, Darren has designed and delivered various education programmes that support local enterprise and international partner institutions. This support has been delivered in the UK and also to both Central Asian and South Korean Universities.
Darren is now an associate lecturer in Design at Sheffield Hallam University and is passionate about Sheffield’s CDI sector and all things related to Media, Arts and Culture.
Rosemary currently practises as a notary public. Rosemary has previously been a solicitor in the Sheffield city region throughout most of her career, including at hlw Keeble Hawson in Sheffield where she was a partner and Head of the corporate department.
She is an active member of the board of trustees of Bluebell Wood Childrens' Hospice. As a governor at Sheffield Hallam University for 8 years, Rosemary was involved on both the Finance and Audit committees and assisted with high level recruitment and appeals to governors. Rosemary is also a member of the South Yorkshire panel of the Princes Trust which makes grants/loans to young people who wish to start businesses and cannot source funds elsewhere.
Rosemary has lived near Rotherham for 30 years and spare time activities include singing in chamber choirs, Peak District hikes and beekeeping.
Maria Hanson studied at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 1991 with an MA in Silversmithing and Jewellery. Her academic career began in 1994 and has taken her to a number of Universities around the UK. As Reader in Metalwork and Jewellery at Sheffield Hallam University, she combines research and teaching with her practice as a designer/maker. She has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions, was short-listed for the Jerwood Applied Arts prize in 2000 and has work represented in various public collections including the Crafts Council, the Goldsmiths’ Company and Museums Sheffield.
She has instigated and managed many public centred projects, symposiums and networks, is an exhibition curator and advocate of audience engagement and participation. She was an executive committee member of the Association for Contemporary Jewellery from 1997-2001, sits on Sheffield’s Galvanize festival committee and is a silversmithing mentor at Yorkshire Artspace. She is a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company, the City of London and the Company of Cutlers’ in Hallamshire.
Dianne has served as a Councillor for the Richmond Ward since 2016, having previously been an Elected Member for Darnall Ward. She took her Bachelors degree BA in Economic and Social History at the Sheffield University and later, an MSc in Strategic Management at Sheffield Hallam. She won the Sheffield Institute of Management prize for her work on this degree, while simultaneously working full time, raising a family and caring for her mother.
Dianne's first job was as a research assistant for the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers in South Yorkshire, before moving on to become a housing manager in the public sector. She became increasingly involved in growing the strength of communities and moved on to area working, looking to develop a role for communities in their own destiny and regeneration; becoming a Partnership Manager in Rotherham before completing the circle as the Housing Manager at Action, a charity and supported housing association.
Having a fondness for canals, when British Waterways became a charitable trust, Dianne was elected as a member of the inaugural Partnership Board for the North Eastern area of the Canal and River Trust and helped in the development of community engagement policies.
She hopes to bring her experience and belief in communities to her work with Museums Sheffield, making the experience, enjoyment and learning possible through museums open and available to all.
After graduating from Sheffield University in 1977, Neil qualified as a Chartered Accountant at KPMG. He left in 1987 to join what was to become FIrth Rixson. Neil spent 20 years at the aerospace group, the majority as Group Finance Director. He oversaw a period of rapid growth when it was a listed business, making numerous acquisitions in the UK and America. In 2002 he led the public to private transaction which saw Firth Rixson acquired by the US private equity house, Carlyle. After leading a successful exit for Carlyle in 2006, Neil “retired”.
Since then, Neil has undertaken a number of roles in the public, private and third sector as a non executive director and trustee. He is currently a governor at Sheffield Hallam University, where he chairs the Finance and Employment Committee. He has been a NED at Sheffield Childrens Hospital for 4 years and he chairs the Risk and Audit committee there. Neil is also deputy chair of the St Lukes Hospice Board and chairs The Archer Project, the homeless charity based at Sheffield Cathedral.
Neil has been involved in arts and culture locally for many years, having been on the Sheffield Theatres Board since 2005. During his year of office as Master Cutler in 2012/13, Neil chaired the Steering Group that oversaw the programme of activities celebrating the centenary of the discovery of stainless steel by Harry Brearley, working closely with Museums Sheffield. And in 2014 Neil joined the Board of Yorkshire Artspace.
Patrick Meleady is the Manager of Pitsmoor Adventure Playground, which is a multi-ward winning inner city Adventure Playground that has been identified nationally and internationally as being an exemplar for play, open access and family and community support provision.
Through his related roles and responsibilities Patrick supports access to the Arts, Leisure and Culture for vulnerable and marginalised children, young people, their families and communities. He also develops and delivers on a wide range of artistic and cultural activities, events and cultural festivals not only in the Burngreave area but throughout the City and further afield too.
Patrick was previously the manager of the Sheffield City Council Positive Activities for Young People and a Manger in the Sheffield Community Safety Team . These roles necessitated him also managing staff teams, budgets and Government initiatives as well as innovating projects which were later replicated throughout the UK as exemplars of best practice in their respective fields.
Ian is Head of Executive Education and MBA Programmes Manger at The University of Sheffield Management School.
Ian has held several positions in the past at the university, all related to the development of relationships with business and the exploitation of university knowledge for the benefit of society.
Ian enjoys long distance walking and has completed several long distance challenge walks, he is also an active member of Sheffield Civic Trust.
Councillor Peter Rippon
Peter Rippon is an elected Labour Councillor currently serving the Richmond Ward. When first elected in 2003 he represented the Nethershire Ward.
Peter was first employed as an apprentice saw doctor at Firth Brown Tools in 1958. From there he went to work for numerous companies until he was made redundant in 1980. This prompted a career change. He decided to study Welfare Law and in 1982 he secured a post as a Welfare Rights Officer with the Sheffield Advice Centres Group. He was based in Chapel Green Advice Centre until 1985 before moving to work in the Social Services Department for Nottinghamsire County Council where he worked with children and adults with learning disabilities. He retired in 2011.
In 2014/15 Peter had the great honour of representing the City of Sheffield as its 118th Lord Mayor. Peter has always taken an active role in the local community. He has served as a school governor for over 25 years and as Chair on Chapel Green Advice Centres Management Committee for 26 years.
Peter is committed to ensuring that all the people of Sheffield, irrespective of age, have access to the arts in the city and for that reason values the work the Trust is undertaking to promote this city-wide.
Julie is Director of External Relations for leading commercial contemporary art gallery, White Cube.
Her career spans the arts and media. From 2001 until 2010 she worked in a variety of roles for Guardian News and Media (GNM), publisher of the award-winning Guardian and Observer newspapers and Guardian.co.uk, most recently as Head of Public Relations.
She was Director of External Relations for the Arts Educational Schools, London, one of the country's foremost drama schools. And was previously Director of Communications at the Museums and Galleries Commission responsible for the organisation's on and offline publishing programme and marketing, as well as internal and external communications. She has managed PR for the National Magazine Company, promoting a range of flagship titles including Esquire, Harpers & Queen and Country Living. In addition she has worked for Birmingham Royal Ballet, Opera North, the National Theatre, and the Arts Council.
Julie is a founding trustee of Kids in Museums and was a judge of the Daily Telegraph/Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museums Award.
Dr Sheila Watson
Sheila Watson joined the school of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester in 2003. A former teacher she became director of three local authority museums and an art gallery in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK. In partnership with various heritage organisations and agencies she worked with a regeneration team to rethink the ways in which museums, galleries and historic monuments could have meaning for people and support economic and social regeneration. She led the project to create a new museum based on community consultation, now open as Time and Tide.
Since being in Leicester Sheila has worked as a lecturer in the MA in Museum Studies and the MA in Art Gallery Studies. In 2008 she established a new distance learning programme, Learning and Visitor Studies in Museums and Galleries. Her research interests focus on community history and, in particular the meanings different communities make within a historical framework.