MMAC Management Committee

Ann SumnerAnn Sumner

Ann took over as Chair of the Management Committee from John Gibbs at the end of July 2018.  Ann is a senior museum professional with 30 years' experience. She is a former Director of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts (2007-12) and Barber Professor of Fine Art and Curatorial Practice. Prior to that, she was Head of Fine Art at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff (2000 - 2007). She has held curatorial positions at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Holburne Museum, Bath and Dulwich Picture Gallery.

She was educated at Kingswood School, Bath, the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London and studied for her PhD at the University of Cambridge.

Ann is currently Historic Collections Adviser at Harewood House Trust in Yorkshire, where she is leading the Chippendale 300 programming for 2018 and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds, where she specialises in public art research . She sits on the Curatorial Advisory Committee for the Ironbridge Museums Trust and the Advisory Committee for the School of Art Gallery & Museum, Aberystwyth University. She is a Trustee of Leeds Art Fund and of the Museum of Bath at Work.

 

Graham Kent

Graham has been involved with the management and tours of the Collection for many years. He has worked in London, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester in urban, rural and ecumenical settings.

He studied Theology at Kings College London and later took a Masters' Degree in Art History at Leeds.

Formerly Superintendent of the Shaw & Rawton Circuit of the Methodist Manchester & Stockport District. He is a member of the Methodist-Anglican Panel for Unity in Mission.

 

 

 

 


Sarah Middleton   

Sarah is a Methodist Local Preacher with a background in mission education and adult learning. As part of her MA in Arts & Cultural Management at Sussex University, she evaluated the Methodist Modern Art Collection’s impact during 1962-2007 in British churches and galleries. She developed these studies as Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes University where she is involved in the 2021 James Smetham Bi-Centenary Project. As part of her freelance portfolio she leads retreats on contemporary art, and online courses which include ‘Drawing Closer to God’ (hosted by Wesley House Cambridge).

Among Sarah’s MMAC publications are the Looking Guides offering interpretation of works in the MMAC, and the booklet The Methodist Modern Art Collection in Wales, which is where she now lives.

 

 

 

Ruth Gee

Ruth was Chair of the Darlington District of the Methodist Church from 2008 to 2018. Formerly she served in the West Yorkshire District as a circuit minister and also as Ecumenical Officer and Synod Secretary. Before entering ordained ministry, Ruth had a career in teaching and still enjoys opportunities to follow this aspect of her calling. 

Ruth is enthusiastic about the Collection and has used it often in worship and in leading retreats and quiet days. She has experienced and is excited by the significant missional opportunities offered by exhibiting the Collection. 

Ruth served as President of the Methodist Conference (2013-2014), as Chair of the Methodist Council (2015-2018), Moderator of the Forum for Churches Together in England (2015-2018), and has served as a member of the Faith and Order Committee. Among other responsibilities she is currently the Assistant Secretary of the Conference and the Ecumenical Officer for the Methodist Church.

 

 

Ian Baker

Ian has been a Friend of the Collection for several years and is offering his skills to develop the Friends network. Now retired, his corporate administration career spanned both the corporate and not for profit sectors. His events management has included an annual major festival service at St Paul’s Cathedral for the benevolent fund for Anglican clergy and their families. Currently a PCC member at St James the Great, Colwall, Ian is keen to sustain the witness of the Collection, being struck by its impact on exhibition visitors. He serves as Secretary to the Friends of the Collection.

 

 

 

  

 

Simon Sorokos

Simon was a lead organiser of the 2017 MMAC exhibition in Canterbury at the city’s Beaney Art Gallery in partnership with Kent College Canterbury (part of the MIST group of schools) where he is employed as a teacher and Special Projects Manager. He brings vision and expertise for engaging educational institutions more fully with the work of the Collection. He holds a diploma in Art History from the University of Cambridge and a MSc in Management from the City University's Cass Business School. 

 

Rebecca Gibbs 

Rebecca is the Convenor of the Governance working group for the Methodist Modern Art Collection Management Committee (MMACMC) and since 2017 has thrown herself into nurturing a deeper understanding and practical knowledge of the role of the MMACMC; its operations, obligations and outreach.  As well as delivering a bespoke workshop for the MMACMC in Future thinking and strategy, Rebecca is providing further support and development with the compilation of an Induction pack.

At three years old, Rebecca began ballet training and studied under the Redgrave’s at Bristol Schools of Dance and Drama. At 18 years, Rebecca achieved a diploma in singing and went on to study “Art in a Community Context” at Roehampton, London.  Professionally Rebecca has embraced management consultancy, computer programming, website and graphic design. She is currently carrying this experience forward with a focus on Consultancy, Culture and wellbeing practice.

Rebecca is an award winning Creative Producer and Community Development Practitioner. Rebecca has been a trustee of the Gibbs Trust for over fifteen years and is a grand-daughter of John Morel Gibbs, who was the inspiration behind the Collection.

 

Katharine Farnham-Dear 

Katharine Farnham-Dear holds a degree from Cambridge University and practised as a lawyer for many years before following her passion and obtaining degree in Art History from the Open University. 

Her involvement with the Collection started when she prepared the commentary for the online gallery. 

She is Church Secretary at Southgate Methodist Church and involved with a number of other charities in north London where she lives. 

Katharine is the Friends' Newsletter Editor.

 

 

 

 

Corinne Miller 

Formerly Head of Culture, Arts and Heritage for Wolverhampton City Council, Corinne has over 30 years’ experience in local authority museums including galleries in both Wakefield and Leeds.  She currently combines her role as Associate Tutor on the MA in Museum Studies by Distance Learning at Leicester University with membership of a number of boards including Craftspace, a national craft agency, and the Leeds Art Fund.  She is the current President of the Leeds Fine Artists.  Corinne holds a degree in Art History from Manchester University.

 

 

 

 

 

Verity Smith 

Verity is a freelance curator, consultant and writer. Her expertise lies within the respective fields of collections research and interpretation, exhibition curation, community engagement, volunteer management and governance.

Verity has worked for several national and local authority museums, predominantly across Yorkshire and the East Midlands. She curated The World Turned Upside Down galleries at the National Civil War Centre in Newark in 2019. Verity has held posts at Leeds Museums and Galleries, National Media Museum (now National Science and Media Museum) and Barnsley Museums, combining her love of working with objects and communities. Prior to that, Verity spent 3 years working as an Administrator for the NHS in the Clinical Research Network, at the University of Leeds.

Verity is a postgraduate of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. Since gaining her MA in 2012, Verity has returned to the School a number of times as a visiting lecturer. 

Verity has been a trustee of the Social History Curators Group (SHCG) since 2014 and is the current Chair. She is a Consultant for Sporting Heritage and a Heritage Advisor to Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club at Trent Bridge, combining a passion for cricket and her professional expertise.

 

Sarah Allard  

Sarah is a former curator, now based at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester where she manages their placement module and employability programme for postgraduate students. She first encountered the Methodist Modern Art Collection when it visited Leicester in 2019.

Sarah studied Art History and English Literature at the University of Birmingham, and following a bursary year working as curatorial and education assistant at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts she completed an MA in Museum Studies at Leicester. She went on to be Keeper of Fine Art and then Senior Keeper of Art at Derby Museum and Art Gallery, where she worked for seven years, caring for and developing the internationally renowned Joseph Wright of Derby collection, and curating exhibitions of local and regional interest.  In this role she gained considerable experience in looking after works on canvas and paper, and also in fund-raising for new acquisitions.  During this time she was also able to develop an interest and understanding of modern British art; from the Enlightenment, through the Victorian era and into the twentieth century.

Following a career break to focus on a young family, Sarah started work at the University of Leicester, where she joined the School of Museum Studies in 2015 as Museum Liaison and Employability Officer.  Her role at the University is both student and sector facing and she enjoys building and maintaining a network of relationships across the museums, arts and heritage sectors.  She hopes to be able to draw on these relationships to support, highlight and share the significance of the Methodist Modern Art Collection.  Sarah also has long-standing experience in working with volunteers of all ages and is looking forward to supporting the touring programme in this area.

Sarah is a member of Holy Trinity Church, Leicester where she has worshipped and served for over 20 years.

 

Jo Hibbard, Director of Engagement, liaises with the Management Committee for the Connexional Team. She aims to ensure appropriate management support and resources available, and to share opportunities for collaboration on the promotion and use of the Collection.

 Liz Millard is the Collection's part-time Administrator, in addition to her role as a Senior Administrator in the Connexional Team.


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