Gill Hedleyback

Writer and Curator

An Independent View

Gill Hedley speaking at Site Gallery, Sheffield, in 2006

Gill Hedley is a writer, an independent curator and a consultant on contemporary visual arts.

Gill Hedley now works full time as a writer. Her book, Free Seats for All, a history of the philanthropy behind the boom in church building post-Waterloo, was published in 2018. Arthur Jeffress: A Life In Art, the biography of a mid-20th century dealer and collector, followed in 2020. Currently, she is finishing a commissioned biography of the neo-Palladian architect Henry Flitcroft and continuing her research into the life of the collector and philanthropist Lady Norton, always known as Peter. She writes entries for the Oxford University Press Dictionary of National Biography and reviews books and exhibitions for art magazines.

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 and 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 corporate clients on their collections and exhibition strategies.

In 2007 she began to work independently as an exhibition curator and consultant. Among other projects, she helped museums extend their links with contemporary art and advised organisations on new ways of working with artists and with supporters' groups. A major strand of work involved working in Portugal, running a curators’ programme funded by the Gulbenkian Foundation in London and working with curator Filipa Oliveira. Several artists invited her to work with them as an advisor or curator and these are links she still maintains.

From 2004-21 she was a member of the external advisory board of the New Hall Women’s Art Collection and since 2017 has been a Trustee of the Art Monthly Foundation.

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  • 2007-present Independent Curator and Consultant

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photo page of Gill at Frieze, Oct 2013
  • 1993-2006 Director Contemporary Art Society
  • 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 19 September 2021