Using Art Differently - What you don't know about Ben Uri and its Collections
Thursday 19 January
Talks Theatre, Gallery Level
David Glasser, Chair of Trustees, Ben Uri Gallery and Collection
Sarah MacDougall, Head of Collections
Ben Uri Gallery and Museum – the museum partner for London Art Fair 2023 – focuses on recording the Jewish and immigrant contribution to British art. Over the past five years this historic London institution has undergone a radical reinvention, remodelling itself as a ‘virtual museum’. This conversation between Ben Uri’s Executive Chair, David Glasser, and journalist Sam Phillips explores this major project and what opportunities digitisation offers for small museums in challenging times. Topics include how historic institutions can rethink their purpose, the benefits and trade-offs involved in prioritising digital engagement, and the future landscape for online collections.
Listen to the recording
This year’s London Art Fair Museum Partnership is with London’s Ben Uri Gallery and Museum. This In Conversation between David Glasser, Executive Chair of Trustees, Ben Uri Gallery and Collection, and Sarah MacDougall, Head of Collections will offer insights into the gallery and its collection and the rich contribution to British Art made by Jewish, immigrant and refugee artists, in Ben Uri’s DNA.
David Glasser is Chair of the Trustees, although he does not chair monthly Board meetings as he operated as Chief Executive of the museum until October 2020 when Sarah MacDougall took up her appointment. Born in Glasgow, he built his corporate career at Marks and Spencer Plc where he pioneered the Food Only Store concept and then at Ward White Group Plc, where he was responsible for varying development and marketing functions, up to the acquisition of the company by Boots Plc. He formed Northgate Consultancy, which advised blue chip corporations on strategic development and was involved in, and led, a number of businesses between 1990 – 2000. He became involved in Ben Uri in the late 90s and agreed to lead the development of a new strategic plan to re-invigorate and re-establish the museum, which had effectively been closed to the public since losing its gallery. In October 2000, he was elected Executive Chair and has operated since in this role full time on a pro bono basis. To avoid any personal or corporate conflicts of interest, he withdrew from business in 2001 to focus on creating a new style of museum engagements addressing contemporary issues and social integration through the visual creative arts. He led the 2018 sustainability and public benefit strategy which transforms Ben Uri from physical to digital.
David is on the Court of the London South Bank University, a member of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars, and is a Freeman of the City of London.
Sam Phillips is a London-based arts writer and editor. Since 2013 he has been the Editor of RA Magazine, published by the Royal Academy of Arts. He is the author of books The Art Guide: London (Thames & Hudson) and Isms: Understanding Modern Art (Bloomsbury), and he has edited many books for a wide variety of art publishers. He has contributed articles to a wide range of a publications, including The World of Interiors, Time Out, I-D, Artists & Illustrators, National Geographic, Blueprint, Asian Art Newspaper and The Independent.