Management

The operational management of the National Galleries of Scotland is delegated by the Board of Trustees to the Director-General and his Management Group.

People

Sir John Leighton, Director General

Sir John Leighton, Director General

Sir John Leighton studied Fine Art at the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh College of Art and history of art at the Courtauld Institute of Art. He taught art history at Edinburgh before being appointed in 1986 as Curator of 19th-century paintings at the National Gallery in London, a post he held for over ten years.

He was Director of the Van Gogh Museum from 1997 until his appointment as Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland in March 2006. At the Van Gogh Museum he was responsible for the world’s most important collection of Van Gogh and one of Europe’s leading collections of 19th century art.

He has curated numerous exhibitions including Caspar David Friedrich’s Winter Landscapes (1990), Art in the Making: Impressionism (1990), Seurat’s Bathers (1997) Signac (2001) and Manet and the Sea (2004), contributed to the catalogues for the above exhibitions, and published and lectured on various aspects of 19th and 20th-century art.

Since his appointment as Director-General, the National Galleries of Scotland has made a number of notable acquisitions including Titian's Diana and Actaeon and the ARTIST ROOMS collection. In recognition of his contribution to the arts, he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2009 and a Knighthood in December 2012.

Nicola Catterall

Nicola Catterall

Nicola was appointed Chief Operating Officer in August 2007 after a 3 month interim role as Finance Director. She is responsible for business strategy and leading the Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources, Estates and Health & Safety functions.

She has over 20 years of senior operational and financial management experience in premier financial services organisations. She worked in Edinburgh in senior management roles for the Standard Life Group for 8 years, including Head of Finance for Standard Life Investments, Head of Property Support and most recently Programme Director for the Demutualisation project, leading a team of 450 people who successfully converted the organisation to a plc.

Previously she worked in London for 14 years for the Global Investment Banking Group, J.P. Morgan. Roles included Project Manager for set up of the Group’s first insurance business, Head of Compliance, Business Support Manager for the European Investment Banking business and numerous cost restructuring and core Financial roles.

Nicola is an E & Y qualified Chartered Accountant and member of ICAEW, with a strong audit background and experience in Finance, Control, Risk and Compliance disciplines. She graduated from the University of Durham in 1980 with a BA Joint Honours, Double First in Philosophy and Politics.

Michael Clarke CBE

Michael Clarke CBE

Michael Clarke has been Keeper and then Director of the Scottish National Gallery since 1987. He was educated at Manchester University and, prior to joining the National Galleries of Scotland, worked at the British Museum and Manchester University.

His numerous publications include The Tempting Prospect: a social history of English watercolours (1981), Corot and the Art of Landscape (1991) and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms (2001).

He has organised many exhibitions for the Scottish National Gallery, including Lighting up the Landscape: French Impressionism and its Origins (1986), Cézanne and Poussin (1991), Monet to Matisse (1994), and Monet: The Seine and the Sea (2003), as well as being a guest contributor to exhibitions organised abroad.

From 1999 to 2004 he was Director of the successful Playfair Project, a £30 million extension and renovation of the Scottish National Gallery.

Michael’s special interest lies in the French School, of which he has acquired many paintings and drawings for the Scottish National Gallery’s collection. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2009.

Simon Groom

Simon Groom

Simon Groom is Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. He joined the National Galleries of Scotland in 2007 from Tate Liverpool where he was Head of Exhibitions for four years. Prior to that Simon worked in Cambridge as Exhibition’s Organiser at Kettle’s Yard. Simon has worked as a lecturer in English Literature in Italy and Japan and his academic qualifications include a PhD in Art History and an MA in Art History (Modern) from the Courtauld Institute and an MA in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh.

Simon has curated numerous exhibitions both in the UK and abroad, contributed to exhibition catalogues and is a regular lecturer on various aspects of modern and contemporary art. He has a particular interest in art from Asia. Recent exhibitions curated by Simon include, Niki de Saint Phalle, The Real Thing: Contemporary Art from China, Richard Wentworth, A Secret History of Clay: from Gauguin to Gormley, and Mono-ha: School of Things.

Christopher Baker

Christopher Baker

Christopher Baker was appointed Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in August 2012. Prior to taking up this post he was Deputy Director of the Scottish National Gallery from 2003. He was educated at the universities of York and Manchester and has previously held posts at the National Gallery, London, and Christ Church Picture Gallery, Oxford, where for seven years he steered the Gallery’s exhibition and conservation programmes.

He has organised some of the Scottish National Gallery’s most successful exhibitions of recent years, including The Discovery of Spain and Turner and Italy (both 2009). 

Christopher has lectured widely and published numerous articles and reviews, focusing on the history of collecting, British art and prints and drawings. His books include: The Complete Illustrated Catalogue, The National Gallery, London (1995: co-author); Collecting Prints and Drawings in Europe, c.1500-1750 (2003: co-editor); J.M.W. Turner: The Vaughan Bequest (2006); and English Drawings and Watercolours 1600-1900: The National Gallery of Scotland (2011).

Jacqueline Ridge

Jacqueline Ridge

Jack Ridge joined the National Galleries of Scotland in 2006. As Keeper of Conservation she is responsible for collection care strategy at NGS and leading the collections management, art movement and conservation functions.

She has a strong interest in the philosophy of collection care and how this supports access to our national collections, viewing conservation as a  “facilitating profession.”  Since her appointment at NGS she has been heavily involved with Tate in the development of the ARTIST ROOMS conservation and collections management approach and in developing a sustainable collection care policy for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery redevelopment project Portrait of the Nation. Her publications are wide ranging and include technical studies of paintings from early renaissance to contemporary art, with a particular reference to 19th-century British paintings and the Pre-Raphaelites, sustainable collection care and the legacies of collection care approaches.

Jack has a degree in Chemistry from King’s College London and a formal training in the Conservation of Fine Art from Northumbria University. With over 25 years of experience in both the private and public sector she followed a career path in the US working at Harvard and Worcester Art Museum as a paintings conservator. She returned to the UK to join the specialist team that established the award winning conservation centre at the National Museums, Liverpool. In 1995 she joined Tate in London becoming conservation manager for paintings frames and technical support.  She is a fellow of the International Institute for Conservation and is an Advisory Council member at the Hamilton Kerr Institute at Cambridge University.