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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The 1833 Act was superseded in 1969 by The Charities (Sir John Soane’s Museum) Order (1969 No.468), revised in 1996, 2003, 2011 and 2012.

As stipulated in the 1833 Act and the 1969 Charity Order, our Board of Trustees is made up of four Life Trustees and five Representative Trustees from five organisations: 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. In 2011, following consultation with the Charity Commission and the DCMS, the order was amended to allow the Trustees to expand the Board by up to four at any one time. 

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.

Our Trustees

Lord Sassoon
Chairman

Lord Sassoon Kt is President of the China-Britain Business Council and a Trustee of the Trent Park Museum Trust.

After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, James joined investment bank S.G. Warburg in 1985. From 2002 to 2013 he was in HM Treasury as a civil servant, advisor and, from 2010, a Minister as the first Commercial Secretary to the Treasury. From 2013 to 2020 he was an Executive Director of Jardine Matheson Holdings. 

Previous arts and not-for-profit experience includes as Chairman of the ifs School of Finance, Deputy Chair of the British Museum and as a Trustee of the National Gallery Trust and of the Gerald Coke Handel Foundation. 

The Chairman is appointed by the Board.

Professor Jonathan Ashmore
Representative Trustee, The Royal Society

Jonathan 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.

Kerensa Jennings
Representative Trustee, The RSA

With a thirty year career spanning the arts, media and technology, Professor Kerensa Jennings is an award-winning strategist who specialises in high-impact digital, communications and editorial strategies. She is a Director in Data and AI (Artificial Intelligence) at BT, a bestselling author, and a Fellow at the Royal Society of Arts. Former CEO of a Royal social enterprise based at Buckingham Palace, Professor Jennings was previously Head of Strategic Delivery at the BBC and a television producer. As well as being one of our Trustees, she is a Trustee at the Centre for the Acceleration of Social Technology.
 
Amin Taha

Amin 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 received RIBA awards for all of their completed works. He has sat as chair of the RIBA’s House of the Year jury and been a member for its National and International Awards jury since 2014. During the establishment of Seaforth Land, a property fund principally managing Canadian State Pension assets, he was asked to become its development director where he set a long term course for low carbon commercial sector development. Theoretical and applicable design research continues through his postgraduate teaching post at the Royal College of Art.

Lucie Kitchener
Soane Museum Enterprises Chair

Lucie has been the CEO of the Masterpiece fair since 2017 and has a background in retail and consumer brands, including senior roles at The Rug Company and David Lindley Holdings. Lucie has a range of trustee experience, including at the music foundation set up by her father, Sir George Martin.

Anne Desmet, RA

Anne Desmet gained a BA & MA at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Printmaking at Central School of Art and Design, London. She has taught wood engraving widely, including at the RA Schools, British Museum and Middlesex University. In 2011, Desmet became only the third wood engraver ever elected as a member of the Royal Academy of Arts. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and the Society of Wood Engravers. Since 1987 she has received over 40 national and international awards including a British School at Rome Scholarship in Printmaking. She has had 20 solo shows in London since 1990. Commissions include engravings and drawings for the Royal Mint, V&A, British Museum, National Gallery, Sotheby’s and Oxford University Press. Her work is held in public and private 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.

Nichola Johnson OBE FSA
Representative Trustee, Society of Antiquaries of London

Nichola 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 and is currently a trustee of Dulwich Picture Gallery, the Clore Leadership Programme and the Ruskin Foundation.

Alderman Vincent Keaveny
Representative Trustee, The Court of Aldermen of the City of London

Vincent 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.  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 theatre company Actors Touring Company. 

Basil Postan
Life Trustee

Basil 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, a Patron of George Beaumont Group and a supporter of the National Gallery. Charities supported include Save the Children, Afghan Connection and Bloodwise. As well as being one of Soane’s trustees, Alison is an advisor to Frieze Masters, London. 

Dr Frank Salmon, FSA

Frank 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.

Amicia de Moubray

Amicia is a journalist who has written on architecture, heritage, and design topics for many years. Her most recent book was as editor of a SAVE Britain’s Heritage publication on the planning challenges of Canterbury. She has a focus on North Kent where she lives and jointly runs a garden open to the public. She is also an experienced trustee.