Emma Ridgway, Director
Emma Ridgway joined the Museum in 2023. Emma was previously Chief Curator, Head of Exhibitions and Learning at Modern Art Oxford, where she had led the artistic programme since 2015. As the curator of the British Pavilion for the 59th Venice Art Biennale, Emma collaborated with artist Sonia Boyce to create Feeling Her Way. The exhibition was awarded the international Golden Lion for Best National Participation 2022, a first for the UK.
Previously Emma was a curator at the Barbican Centre, The Royal Society of Arts, Serpentine Gallery, London and Khoj International Artists Association, New Delhi. She is a Clore Cultural Leadership Fellow, and holds degrees in fine art, art history and curating from Goldsmiths and The Royal College of Art, London. Her recent publications include Sonia Boyce: Feeling Her Way (Yale University Press), Ruth Asawa: Citizen of the Universe (Thames and Hudson), Anish Kapoor: Painting, and Marina Abramović: Gates and Portals (Koenig Books).
Board of Trustees
The Foundling Museum is governed by an independent board of trustees who bring with them expertise in a range of fields, including the management and running of museums and galleries, together with experience in education, public relations, marketing and general management. The board is comprised of fifteen members, of whom eleven are elected by the Membership from among persons nominated by the existing trustees, and five are appointed by Coram. Trustees serve a maximum of three terms, each term being three years in length.
The board is supported in its work by the Investment Committee, the Finance & Audit Committee and the Development Committee.
Larissa Joy OBE, Chair
In addition to her role as Chair of the Foundling Museum, Larissa is a Non-executive Director of search firm Saxton Bampfylde, Non-executive Director of international law firm Charles Russell Speechlys, Chair of the Employee Ownership Trust of architecture practice Hawkins\Brown, Non-executive Board Member of the Department for Culture , Media and Sport ( DCMS) and Non-executive Director of The Law Society of England and Wales. In her pro-bono portfolio, alongside her role as Chair of the Foundling Museum, she is Chair of Social Business Trust, co-Chair and co-Founder of Thrive at Five and Trustee of the Charles Russell Speechlys Foundation.
Her previous roles include Vice Chair of WPP’s Ogilvy Group UK, European COO Weber Shandwick, Partner of emerging markets private equity firm, Actis LLP, Founding Trustee of V Inspired, Non-executive Director of London & Quadrant and Chair of the House of Illustration.
Larissa received an OBE in The Queen’s New Years Honours List in 2021.
Larissa read Law at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, completed her solicitor’s finals at the College of Law, London and studied at London Business School, where she completed her MBA. She has three children. She has played clarinet in the Lawyers Music Symphony Orchestra for over 25 years.
Anne Beckwith-Smith LVO retired at the end of 2014 from Tate having worked as Head of Campaigns in the Development Office since 1991, with particular responsibility for Tate’s capital campaigns. After the opening of Tate Modern in May 2000, Anne undertook a part-time joint honours BA degree in History and History of Art at University College London. Prior to joining Tate, Anne was Assistant Private Secretary and Lady in Waiting to Diana, Princess of Wales from 1981-1990, but continuing in a part-time capacity until August 1997. She has also worked at Arts Council England (Exhibitions Department) and Sotheby’s (British Paintings Department). Anne is a Trustee of Salisbury Museum, City & Guilds of London Art School and is Chair of the Roche Court Educational Trust, as well as a member of the Advisory Board of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.
Chris Cotton held the post of Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Albert Hall from 2009-2017. He also serves as Chair of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group; Chair of Jerwood Space; and a Director of Julie’s Bicycle, an environmental sustainability charity working with the arts and creative industries. As CEO of the Royal Albert Hall, Chris has led the organisation through a period of unprecedented growth, overseeing the development of a wide and ambitious musical and events programme. An area of particular focus has been education and outreach work, particularly with children and young people. An architect by training, Chris spearheaded several major development projects at the Hall, including infrastructure, expansion and improvement works to the Grade 1 listed building. After seven years overseeing the Hall’s development as a world-leading live events location, he retired from his role as CEO in March 2017.
Shereka Dunbar is a Social Work student studying at Goldsmiths University in London. She works for Coram as a care experienced consultant under the new belongings programme designed to explore innovative ways to support care leavers in local authorities around the UK. She also works for Frontline as a care experienced assessor, interviewing prospective social workers looking to join their 2-year degree programme.
We are sad to share that our trustee Bill Gore has passed away. Over the last decade, Bill championed the importance of the Foundling Museum as an independent charity. Bill had an industrial and private equity background in which he led numerous successful transactions in the role of Chairman and CEO. He was a partner at Manfield Partners, an investment firm, and a Founding Director of the Institute for Turnaround. Bill was also a Director of Coram and previously served as Chairman of the Governors and Pro-Chancellor at Essex University. He was a dedicated choral singer with both the EC4 and Medici choirs, and still made time to chair a number of ethical investments. At the Museum, we miss his positive and thoughtful dedication to our work and community.
Ronald Gould is currently Chairman of Compliance Science Europe (CSI); Non Executive Director of OneRe; Managing Principal, Warfleet Partners; Chairman of Think Alliance Group; Non-Executive Director and Chair of Audit of JP Morgan Asia Investments PLC. He has extensive experience leading financial companies through periods of rapid global growth in complex regulatory and compliance environments. He has also served as a Senior Advisor to the UK regulator, the Financial Services Authority, lending his expertise to advise on a wide range of policy and regulatory matters. Prior to joining CSI, he held senior executive management positions at BZW/Barclays Asset Management, including Vice Chairman, CEO Barclays Stockbrokers and CEO Barclays Trust Japan. He was responsible for the first international operations of Barclays’ asset management business and creation of business strategy and development. He has additionally served as CEO of Chi-X Asia Pacific, CEO of ABG Sundal Collier ASA, Managing Director of AXA Investment Managers and Managing Director Asia, Promontory Financial Group.
Edward Humphrey has nearly 20 years experience of digital innovation and leadership in the film, TV and cultural sector, including roles at British Film Institute, The Walt Disney Company, ITV and Virgin Media. He has also served as a non-executive director of The Space, a digital arts organisation founded by Arts Council England and the BBC.
Perdita Hunt has worked in senior positions at the Arts Council, national Heritage Memorial Fund, WWF-UK and most recently as Director of Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village. Previously, Perdita served as Theatre Projects Co-ordinator at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, Marketing and Development Director at the Aldeburgh Foundation in Suffolk and Press Advisor to Suffolk Crafts Society. As Director of Watts Gallery Trust, Perdita led the Hope Restoration Project to save the future of Watts Gallery and its collection. This was followed by the Watts Studios project which restored the Studio wing of Limnerslease – establishing Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village as a unique campus promoting the Watts legacy of Art for All. Perdita is a Trustee of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund and an advisor on the Collections and Acquisition committee of the National Trust. She is a Trustee of Baynards Zambia Trust which supports self-help projects in Zambia, a consultant for Leadership Insight and Tutor of The Recess College, an international leadership programme for senior professionals.
Claire Jeffers joined Goldman Sachs in 2006. She is an Executive Director in the Consumer and Investment Management division in London. Prior to this, Claire worked in the Fashion and Luxury Goods industry in New York, holding positions with Conde Nast Publications and Kieselstein-Cord International. Claire previously served as the Chair of the Junior Committee of InMotion, a not-for-profit firm connecting women in need with pro bono legal services from New York’s top law firms. Claire holds a Masters in Business Administration from London Business School and studied the History of Art at Dartmouth College, USA where she received a Bachelor of Arts cum laude. She currently lives in London and continues to maintain her connection to her alma mater, serving as a Dartmouth College Admissions Ambassador.
Andrew McIntyre was a partner at EY for 28 years, and was a board member and trustee of the firm’s pension schemes. He has also served on the boards of Southern Housing Group (Chair from 2004-2013), the National Bank of Greece and the Centre for Economic Policy Research. He is currently a non-executive director of Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc, C. Hoare & Co., Target Group, and Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc. Andrew McIntyre plays the organ and is a fellow of the Royal College of Organists.
Grayson Perry CBE
Born in Chelmsford, Essex in 1960, Grayson Perry lives and works in London. Winner of the 2003 Turner Prize, Perry was elected a Royal Academician in 2012, and received a CBE in 2013; he has been awarded the prestigious appointments of Trustee of the British Museum and Chancellor of the University of the Arts London (both in 2015), and received a RIBA Honorary Fellowship in 2016.
Work by the artist is held in museum collections worldwide, including Tate Collection, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Stedelijk Museum; Amsterdam; and Yale Center for British Art, New Haven.
Major institutional exhibitions include The Pre-Therapy Years at The Holbourne Museum, Bath, (2020-2021); Vanité, Identité, Sexualité, Monnaie de Paris (2019); The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! (2017), On screen Perry has also led in Bafta winning All In the Best Possible Taste (2013) and Who Are You? (2014), as well we All Man,(2016).
Perry delivered The Reith Lectures in 2013 and the artist’s A House for Essex, a permanent building designed in collaboration FAT Architecture, was constructed in the North Essex countryside in 2015.
Lord Russell of Liverpool
Simon Russell spent 25 years as a partner at Spencer Stuart, an international executive search and leadership consulting firm. He entered the Lords on the cross-benches in 1982, leaving after the 1999 House of Lords Act, returning in 2014 as one of the 90 elected hereditary peers. He is a Deputy Speaker and is the cross-bench representative to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the continent’s leading human rights organisation. He is an officer of the APPG for Adoption and Permanence and of the APPG from Conception to Age Two. He is a Governor of the children’s charity, Coram, having been a trustee from 2009-2018, and was the chair of Life Education Centres which merged into Coram, from 1994-2018. He is a Patron of the Cavell Nurses’ Trust. He read history at Trinity College, Cambridge 1978-81 and business administration at INSEAD, Fontainebleau 1981-82.
Lemn Sissay OBE
Lemn Sissay is a BAFTA nominated award winning writer, international poet, performer playwright, artist and broadcaster. He has read on stage throughout the world: from The Library of Congress in The United States to The University of Addis Ababa, from Singapore to Sri Lanka, Bangalore to Dubai, from Bali to Greenland and Wigan library. He was awarded an OBE for services to literature and charity by The Queen of England. Along with Chimamanda Ngoze Adichie and Margaret Atwood, he won a Pen Pinter Prize in 2019. He is Chancellor of The University of Manchester and an Honorary Doctor from The Universities of Huddersfield, Manchester, Kent and Brunei. He is Dr Lemn Sissay. He was the first poet commissioned to write for the London Olympics and poet of the FA Cup.