In 1833 Soane negotiated an Act of Parliament (3° Gul.IV, Cap.iv) to settle and preserve the house and collection for the benefit of ‘amateurs and students’ in architecture, painting and sculpture. On his death in 1837 the Act came into force, vesting the Museum in a board of Trustees who were to continue to uphold Soane’s own aims and objectives.
The 1833 Act was superseded in 1969 by The Charities (Sir John Soane’s Museum) Order (1969 No.468), revised a number of times up to 2022.
As stipulated in the 1833 Act and the 1969 Charity Order, as revised, our Board of Trustees is made up of up to fourteen Trustees including five Representative Trustees from: the Royal Society, the Court of Aldermen of the City of London, the Society of Antiquaries of London, the Royal Society of Arts, and the Royal Academy of Arts. The Chair is appointed by the Board.
Appointments are generally made for a term of five years, and may be renewed once for a further term of the same length. Trustee vacancies are advertised widely in order to reach as diverse an audience as possible.
Lord Sassoon, Kt
James Sassoon is President of the China-Britain Business Council and a Non-executive Director of Barco, of Arbuthnot Banking Group and of China Construction Bank. A Chartered Accountant, James was at investment bank S.G. Warburg before joining HM Treasury, latterly as Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, and then at the Jardine Matheson group. James has been Chairman of the ifs School of Finance, Deputy Chair of the British Museum and a Trustee of the National Gallery Trust and of the Gerald Coke Handel Foundation.
Professor Jonathan Ashmore, FRS, FMedSci, FRSB
Representative Trustee, The Royal Society
Jonathan Ashmore is Bernard Katz Professor of Biophysics at UCL and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He has been a Trustee and a former President of the Physiological Society and was Chief Scientific Advisor to the charity Deafness Research UK and has chaired several committees of the Royal Society, including that of the Library and Archives.
Amicia de Moubray
Amicia de Moubray is a journalist who has written on architecture, heritage, and design topics for many years. She is the author of 20th Century Castles in Britain. Her most recent book was as editor of a SAVE Britain’s Heritage publication on the planning challenges of Canterbury. She is a trustee of Barts Heritage and the Sheerness Dockyard Preservation Trust. Amicia has a particular focus on North Kent where she lives and jointly runs a garden open to the public.
Anne Desmet, RA
Representative Trustee, The Royal Academy of Arts
Anne Desmet is a leading wood engraver, becoming in 2011 only the third wood engraver ever elected as a member of the Royal Academy of Arts. She has received many national and international awards including a British School at Rome Scholarship in Printmaking. Commissions include for the Royal Mint, V&A, British Museum, National Gallery, Sotheby’s and Oxford University Press. Anne’s work is held in collections including the Ashmolean Museum; The Museum of London; British Library; Fitzwilliam Museum; The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; Ex Libris Museum, Moscow; Musée d’Art Contemporain, Chamalières, France; and IMG Corporate, New York. Anne has taught at the RA Schools, British Museum and Middlesex University. Anne is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and the Society of Wood Engravers.
Hamish Forsyth is President – Europe & Asia, Capital Group, where he has worked all his career. He is a trustee of Oxford Lieder and The Mila Charitable Organisation. He is a member of the Royal Academy of Music Bicentenary Development Board, the Royal Opera House Endowment Fund and the Eton Investment Committee. Hamish has been Chairman of Glyndebourne, a trustee of the Royal Opera House, Britten Sinfonia and Grange Park Opera, a Fellow of Eton College and a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Council for Financial and Professional Services.
Professor Kerensa Jennings, FRSA
Representative Trustee, The Royal Society of Arts
Kerensa Jennings is Group Director, Data Platforms at BT and an author. Former CEO of iDEA CIC, Kerensa was previously Head of Strategic Delivery at the BBC and a television producer. She is Chair of the Centre for the Acceleration of Social Technology.
Nichola Johnson, OBE, FSA
Representative Trustee, Society of Antiquaries of London
Nichola Johnson was Director of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia, where she also developed and directed the Museum Leadership Programme. She has chaired both the Clore Cultural Leadership Programme and the University Museums Group, has been a Trustee of the National Trust, Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Clore Leadership Programme and is currently a trustee of Brantwood (John Ruskin Memorial Trust), The Guild of St George and Wessex Archaeology.
Alderman Vincent Keaveny CBE
Representative Trustee, The Court of Aldermen of the City of London
Lead Non-Executive Trustee
Vincent Keaveny is a partner at international law firm DLA Piper UK LLP. He was elected as Alderman for the Ward of Farringdon Within in the City of London in 2013 and served as Sheriff of the City of London in 2018/19 and Lord Mayor in 2021/22. He has been a member of a number of City of London Corporation Committees and currently sits on the Policy & Resources Committee. He is a Director/Trustee of the contemporary music ensemble Exaudi, and the Actors Touring Company.
Soane Museum Enterprises Chair
Lucie Kitchener is CEO of Masterpiece, an international art fair in London and was previously a Director of Kennedy Dundas, Managing Director of The Rug Company and a Director of David Linley & Co. She is a Trustee of the Syncona Foundation, The Louis Dundas Centre for Paediatric Palliative Care and The Montserrat Foundation.
Basil Postan has worked at Cazenove, Citibank, Morgan Grenfell, Nomura and Credit Lyonnais. He ran his own fund until his retirement in 2009, when he became a Trustee of the London Library. Basil was elected a Life Trustee of the Soane in 2014.
Alison Ross Green
Alison Ross Green worked at Sotheby’s Old Masters Paintings in New York before assisting the Serpentine Galleries to build their Patron’s Collectors Circle. Alison is the co-creative Director of Art Fridays and an advisor to Frieze Masters, London.
John Clappier is a partner at SoftBank Investment Advisors, a global private equity firm. Prior to joining SoftBank, he was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in Tokyo and Hong Kong as head of single stock trading and ECM risk underwriting for Asia Pacific. John obtained a BA in East Asian Studies from Princeton University and studied in Osaka and Tokyo as a Ministry of Education Research Scholar.
Dr Frank Salmon, FSA
Frank Salmon is a senior lecturer in History of Art at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow (and former President) of St. John’s College, Cambridge. He has previously served as a trustee of several organisations in the cultural heritage sector and as a member of Historic England’s National Advisory Committee. He is an architectural historian specializing in British eighteenth- and nineteenth-century architecture, including that of Sir John Soane.
Amin Taha is chairperson of Groupwork an employee ownership trust of architects who have been twice shortlisted for the RIBA’s Stirling Prize, twice for the EU Mies van der Rohe Prize and who have received RIBA awards for all of their completed works. He has chaired RIBA’s House of the Year jury and been a member for its National and International Awards jury. He was Design Development Director of Seaforth Land. Amin’s involvement in theoretical and applicable design research continues through his postgraduate teaching post at the Royal College of Art.