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The 1833 Act was superseded in 1969 by The Charities (Sir John Soane’s Museum) Order (1969 No.468), revised in 1996, 2003, 2011 and 2012.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

Trustee Appointments

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 externally in the media and on the government-sponsored Public Appointments website in order to reach as diverse an audience as possible.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a Trustee of Sir John Soane’s Museum, please email

Our Trustees

Guy Elliott

Guy was formerly Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Director of SABMiller and of Cadbury.  He was also a non executive director of Royal Dutch Shell, Chief Financial Officer at Rio Tinto and a member of the Takeover Panel. Guy’s experience additionally includes membership of the development boards at the Art Fund and the Canterbury Trust. Guy is Chairman of The Prudence Trust.

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.

Molly Lowell Borthwick

Molly has worked for charities for over 20 years, including the Prince’s Trust and the Inter-Action Social Enterprise Trust. She’s also a trustee of the Brunel Museum and the Tunbridge Wells International Music Festival. Molly is also a Director of the Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation in the USA. 

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.

Professor David Ekserdjian

David Ekserdjian is Professor of History of Art and Film at the University of Leicester. A former trustee of both the National Gallery (2005-13) and of Tate (2008-13), he is currently also a trustee of Art UK. A specialist on the art of the Italian renaissance, he is the author of various books and exhibition catalogues, including Correggio (1997), Parmigianino (2006), Treasures from Budapest (2010), Bronze (2012), and Correggio and Parmigianino: Art in Parma during the Sixteenth Century (2016). In 2017-18, he will be the Slade Professor at the University of Oxford.

Stephen Gosztony

Stephen has over thirty years of investment experience and has been an executive with the Capital Group for over twenty-five years. He is a Fellow of the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford and a Trustee and member of Governing Body at Pembroke College, Oxford and chairs its Campaign Board. Stephen is a Trustee of the Royal Academy Trust and Chair of the Investment sub-Committee.  He also sits on the development board of Build it International, a UK charity that provides opportunities for young  people in Africa through construction-related activities.

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.

Dr Thierry Morel

Art historian and curator, Thierry’s specialty has been researching the formation and provenance of historic art collections. He has also written and produced art documentaries and films and curated the award-winning Houghton Revisited exhibition at Houghton Hall and Francis Bacon and the Masters for the 250th Anniversary of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg and at the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich.  

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.

Orna, Lady Turner

A former partner at McKinsey & Company. Lady Turner chairs digital consulting firm Founders Intelligence and is a Senior Advisor to consulting firm Eden McCallum. She has served on the Boards of several major UK companies and is currently a Director of Burberry and of Saga. As well as being one of our Trustees, Lady Turner is Deputy Chair of the National Trust.