Chair: Dr Sharon Hecker
(BA Yale University, cum laude, and M.A., Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley).
Dr. Hecker is an art historian and curator. A leading international expert on modern and contemporary art and the Italian sculptor Medardo Rosso, she has authored over 30 publications, including A Moment’s Monument: Medardo Rosso and the International Origins of Modern Sculpture, awarded the Millard Meiss Prize by the College Art Association. She has curated numerous exhibitions, including Medardo Rosso: Second Impressions (Harvard University Art Museums), Medardo Rosso: Experiments in Light and Form (Pulitzer Arts Foundation) and, with Julia Peyton-Jones, Medardo Rosso: Sight Unseen and His Encounters with London (Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac).
Dr Hecker researches interactions between art-historical scholarship, the market and the law as related to authenticity, attribution, expertise and due diligence. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the College Art Association (CAA), member of the Catalogue Raisonné Scholars Association (CRSA), International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR), International Council of Museums (ICOM), Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) and Member of the Sculpture Vetting Committee, TEFAF, Maastricht and New York (Chair). She is Coordiator of the Expert Witness Pool for the Court of Arbitration for Art in the Hague (CAfA).
Hecker is currently curating an exhibition of Lucio Fontana’s ceramics to take place at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice in 2025.
Edith Devaney is an independent curator and writer.
For twenty years she was a senior curator at the Royal Academy of Arts where she was responsible for originating and curating exhibitions such as Jasper Johns; ‘Something Resembling Truth’ exhibition in 2017 and Abstract Expressionism in 2016. She also curated the David Hockney exhibition, 82 Portraits and one still-life, and originated and co-curated the Hockney landscape exhibition 'A Bigger Picture' in 2012, and Richard Diebenkorn in 2015. In her capacity as Head of Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, she worked with many international contemporary artists on both the curation of this annual exhibition and special projects and displays relating to it.
She left the Royal Academy in 2021 to manage the David Hockney Foundation and David Hockney Inc for two years.
Independent curatorial projects include Milton Avery at the Royal Academy of Arts in 2022, The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Fine Art in Connecticut in 2022 and the Modern Museum of Art in Fort Worth Texas in 2021; Afro: 1950-1970: From Italy to America and Back; in 2022 and Arshile Gorky; 1904 – 1948, both at the Ca’Pesaro Museum of Modern Art in Venice.
In addition to curating independent projects, she is also Artistic Advisor to the Malta International Contemporary Art Space.
Saskia Spender is the President of the Arshile Gorky Foundation since 2016, and is the artist’s granddaughter, as well as a fifth generation artist herself. The Arshile Gorky Foundation is a US based 501(c)3, dedicated to safeguarding the artist’s legacy. Its primary purpose is to complete the Catalogue Raisonné.
Saskia grew up in Italy, emigrating to England to study social anthropology at Girton College, Cambridge. She has two children and works in London.
Matthew Stephenson is a specialist in 20th-century and contemporary art with a particular interest in the art of Central and Eastern Europe. Previously he worked as Managing Director of Christie’s Russia and International Senior Director at PACE Gallery in London. Matthew is Chairman of The Photographers’ Gallery, London, an expert advisor to the Arts Council, England, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Czech Centre, London. In 2016, Matthew set up Stephenson art, specialising in representing artists’ estates and private collections. Stephenson art represents the estates of Alexander Archipenko, Anna Mahler and Daniela Vinopalová.
Sarah Davis is an experienced media industry General Counsel and Non Executive Director. Having spent time as global Group Legal Affairs Director at ITV Plc and before that many years at GMG, owners of The Guardian and Observer, during which time she was involved in a number of high-profile news stories including the Leveson Inquiry, Wikileaks Files and the Pulitzer Prize winning Edward Snowden revelations.
Alongside her legal career Sarah has over 20 years’ non-executive board experience within arts and cultural organisations promoting access to careers in the arts for young people, including Chair of National Portfolio Organisation, Poet in the City, Deputy Chair of the UK’s largest communications charity, The Media Trust, and an independent director of the Audit Committee of the Society of Authors.
Sarah is Vice Chair of UNICEF UK. In 2021 Sarah became a trustee of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, one of the most respected literary awards in the world.
Alex helps to run Cogapp, the company he founded in 1985. One of the most experienced producers working on digital applications for museums and cultural organisations, Alex directs projects for clients and consults/speaks/writes about digital strategy.
With a background in software and artificial intelligence, Alex moved to Brighton in 1985 to found a company associated with the University of Sussex's Cognitive Studies programme, Cognitive Applications; now Cogapp.
Alex and his colleagues at the new company rapidly became pioneers in the application of emerging hypertext and multimedia technologies. Projects in the cultural sector followed including the development of the 'Computer Information Room' for the National Gallery's Sainsbury Wing. An intense and formative three-year project, which often resembled an extended seminar on museums, new media and art history, this gave birth to the Micro Gallery. Opened in 1991, the Micro Gallery was the first large-scale application of digital media in a museum.
Since 1991, Alex and his colleagues have been applying digital media technologies for clients from Seattle to Tokyo via London, Athens and Doha.
Alex is also a founder/director of Wired Sussex, an Associate of the Sussex Humanities Lab, and an advisor to Future Creators. He has a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from Oxford University.