Gill Hedleyback

Curator & Contemporary Art Consultant

An Independent View

Gill Hedley speaking at Site Gallery, Sheffield, in 2006

Gill Hedley is an independent curator, writer and consultant on contemporary visual arts. Her career began as a curator of collections and exhibitions in the city art galleries of Bristol, Newcastle upon Tyne and Southampton. Next, working for the British Council (www), she organised exhibitions in South America, Japan and Europe beginning with Francis Bacon in Moscow in 1988 and ending with Richard Hamilton at the Venice Biennale (www) in 1993.

Between 1993 and 2006, as Director of the Contemporary Art Society, she created two ground breaking Lottery-funded collection development schemes for 25 UK museums. With a fund of £4.5m, museum curators from all round the country were given advice and opportunity, travel and purchase funds to develop their confidence, their collections and their careers. She also worked closely with private collectors, introducing them to new art and new venues worldwide. She developed the annual CAS art market to the benefit of more artists and new collectors alike, and worked with clients including Seagram, Pearson's, BAA, the Economist, Somerset House Trust and Kew Gardens on their collections and exhibition strategies.

In 2006 Gill Hedley began work independently. Among other projects she helps museums extend their links. She advises organisations and trusts on new ways of working with artists and with supporters' groups. Several artists have invited her to work with them on exhibition projects as an advisor and curator. Gill is based in London but has worked with galleries and organisations across the whole of the UK and Scotland. She had a long-standing link with the Gulbenkian Foundation (UK) (www) and still keeps in touch with the art scene in Portugal, as well as other significant international links.

is writing a biography of Arthur Jeffress (1905-1961), a dealer and collector whose collection she first knew in Southampton City Art Gallery and whose life has intrigued her since.

She is researching the life of the philanthropist Noel Norton, and a book on church building post Waterloo.

Open blue links in bullet points for more information

  • 2006-present Independent Curator and Consultant

See the main menu for information about projects and exhibitions

photo page of Gill at Frieze, Oct 2013
  • 1993-2006 Director Contemporary Art Society

At the Contemporary Art Society (CAS), she created two ground breaking Lottery-funded collection development schemes for 25 UK museums. With a fund of £4.5m, museum curators from all round the country were given confidence, advice and opportunity as well as travel and purchase funds to enable them to develop their own collections and careers. She also worked closely with private collectors, introducing them to new art and new venues worldwide. She developed the annual art market to the benefit of more artists and new collectors alike, and worked with clients including Seagram, Pearson's, BAA, the Economist, Somerset House Trust and Kew Gardens on their collections and exhibition strategies.

→ article in the Observer as Gill became the new Director of the CAS, 1993
→ article in the Independent magazine on the CAS Lottery Scheme, 1998 (PDF)
→ essay A Purgatory Before Paradise about the CAS's collection policy, 2000 (PDF)
→ article in ArtsIndustry magazine on the CAS distribution exhibition, 2004 (PDF)
  • 1988-1993 Exhibitions Officer British Council
  • 1983-1988 Keeper of Art Southampton City Art Gallery
  • 1975-1983 Museums Officer Laing Art Gallery
  • 1974-1975 Curatorial Assistant Bristol City Art Gallery

Co-writer of An Anthology of Victorian and Edwardian Paintings from the collection of the City Art Gallery, Bristol. Catalogue for exhibition at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Oct 1975


  • 1971-1974 BA Hons History of Art Courtauld Institute, University of London

  • Professional Qualifications and Membership of Professional Bodies

© Gill Hedley. Page set up 2012 & last modified 7 January 2017