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Sir Richard Heaton announced as new Chair of Fitzwilliam Museum Syndicate


The museum is delighted to announce Sir Richard Heaton KCB, the Warden of Robinson College, University of Cambridge, as the new Chair of the Fitzwilliam Museum’s Syndicate. Sir Richard succeeds Catherine Arnold OBE and will begin his appointment from October 2024.

Sir Richard Heaton has been Warden of Robinson College since October 2021, after a Civil Service career focusing on justice and the constitution. He was Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice from 2015 to 2020; before that, he was Permanent Secretary at the Cabinet Office.

Sir Richard is Chair of Trustees at Koestler Arts, which promotes rehabilitation through art in prisons and other places of detention and is also Chair of the Advisory Committee on the Government Art Collection. He collects contemporary and twentieth-century paintings, drawings and ceramics.

Catherine Arnold OBE joined the Fitzwilliam in October 2021, overseeing the reorganisation of the Fitzwilliam and a new mission. During her tenure the museum has welcomed its highest visitor figures on record of xxx (waiting for exact figure from Grace)

Sir Richard Heaton said:

“I’ve always loved and admired the Fitzwilliam, and I’m delighted to be joining it as Chair of the Syndics.”

Luke Syson, Director and Marlay curator of the Fitzwilliam Museum said:

“I am enormously grateful to Catherine Arnold for her rigour and good humour over the past three years, with change afoot at the Fitzwilliam. And I am really delighted that Richard will take over as the new Chair of our Syndicate. His depth of experience and his love of art will be enormously helpful as we make the Fitzwilliam Museum not just more and more vibrant but also financially and environmentally sustainable. The Fitz has a big part to play in making connections across Cambridge’s communities to the rest of world. With Richard’s energy and eye for detail, I’m sure we will make real strides towards realising our huge potential. I much look forward to working with him.”

The Fitzwilliam is a Non‐School Institution of the University of Cambridge, overseen by the University’s General Board and governed by the Fitzwilliam Museum Syndicate, a General Board committee.

Photo: Sir Richard Heaton KCB, artwork: Peter Jones, 1940-2023