West Dean College

Hugh Morrison appointed collections manager at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation in West Sussex has tempted Hugh Morrison away from his role as collections registrar with Historic Environment Scotland to become its new collections manager.

Increasing accessibility to the collection and safeguarding its artworks through digitisation have been outlined as key ambitions for his tenure.

Hugh Morrison has joined West Dean College fresh from a senior position in a team responsible for the care and management of more than 35,000 objects and artworks across Scotland.

Managing loans to and from national and international museums was also an important part of his remit north of the border, where Morrison also worked with colleagues to research and develop interpretative displays for long term and temporary exhibitions. He additionally helped develop a website on which collections have been published online.

“I am delighted to be joining the team at West Dean at such an exciting time when work is underway to develop this significant archive and collection and make it more accessible to students, researchers and the public,” Morrison stated as his appointment was announced.

Outlining his vision for the role, he continued: “My particular interest is developing collections and making them more accessible. This collection offers huge opportunities to be used as a resource for students learning and developing object conservation and fine art skills in the college.

“Its international significance has a huge potential to be catalogued, digitised and published online to attract researchers from all around the world and this will also help us develop interpretation that will inform and engage future visitors to the College.”

The West Dean Collection includes surrealist and modernist artworks including Dalí’s Mae West Lips sofa and the Lobster Telephone. Furniture, tapestries, paintings and ceramics also form part of the Collection, along with unique archives pertaining to Edward James, the James family, the estate and the College.