The Society is governed by an elected Council supported by specialist officers. Council members are elected to serve a 3 year term and are responsible for ensuring the Society fulfills its aims and objectives. Council meetings take place quarterly.
President of the FHS since 1990, author of Furniture History: Forty Years On (2004), a history of the Society, to be updated in the 2014 volume of Furniture History. His numerous publications and articles in learned journals include Ormolu: The Work of Matthew Boulton, London 1974. His interests in the decorative arts are wide-ranging and include commissions to contemporary artists and craftsmen. His wife, Judith, Lady Goodison, is also a prominent furniture historian and supporter of the FHS (author of a study of Thomas Chippendale, the younger, at Stourhead (NT), published in Furniture History in 2005). Sir Nicholas’s banking career included the chairmanship of TSB, which merged with Lloyds in 1995. As Chairman of the London Stock Exchange (1976-88) he led the institution into the ‘Big Bang’, which revolutionised the City and transformed the trading of stocks and shares. His artistic activities have been no less distinguished, including prominent roles at the Courtauld Institute, the Burlington Magazine, the Walpole Society and the National Heritage Memorial Fund. He published in 2004 for HM Treasury, the Goodison Review (report Securing the Best for our Museums: Private Giving and Government Support). His honours include CINOA Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Arts 2004, Robinson Medal V&A Museum 2007; Liveryman: Worshipful Co of Goldsmiths, Worshipful Co of Clockmakers; Hon DLitt: City Univ 1985, Univ of London 2003; Hon LLD Univ of Exeter 1989, Hon DSc Aston Univ 1994, Hon DArt De Montfort Univ 1998, Hon DCL Univ of Northumbria 1999; hon fell King's Coll Cambridge, hon fell Courtauld Inst of Art; hon fell Royal Acad, sr fell RCA 1991, Hon FRIBA 1992, hon fell City and Guilds; CIMgt, FCIB 1989 (vice-pres 1989), FBA, FSA, FRSA; Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur 1990
Christopher Rowell is the National Trust’s Furniture Curator. This specialist role involves researching, publishing and advising on an extensive international collection displayed in historic interiors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. About eighty of the Trust’s houses contain notable furniture, woodwork and picture frames. He has published widely on country house collections, including editing and contributing to Ham House: 400 Years of Collecting and Patronage, published in July 2013 by Yale University Press. This is the first in a series of Yale books, published in partnership with the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, on individual great houses of the National Trust and on aspects of its rich and varied collections. Forthcoming volumes will include Christopher Rowell’s Furniture in National Trust Houses.
Megan read Modern History at Christ Church, Oxford and in 2006 completed her DPhil on the persecution of Protestants in England in the reign of Mary I, before turning to Art History. Having worked as a Specialist in Furniture and Works of Art for Bonhams Auctioneers until 2015, Megan is now the Lead Cataloguer on the National Trust’s Furniture Research Project. She is also a member of the Regional Furniture Society, and sits on the committee of the Antique Metalware Society.
Martin Williams trained as an accountant. For 20 years from 1976, he was chief executive of the Musicians Benevolent Fund. From 1995-2011, he was company secretary of four of The Prince of Wales’s charities and carried out projects for a wide range of organisations including the Royal College of Music and Imperial College. Martin is trustee of a number of charities including the Royal Albert Hall and the Kathleen Ferrier Scholarship Fund. He administers the Ouseley Trust, a charity supporting the choral liturgy of the Church of England. Martin was a trustee of the Society of Antiquaries of London from 1994-2000 and still serves on its Finance committee. He has been a non-executive director of Marlin Chemicals Ltd for over 30 years, and, currently, he is the non-executive chairman of the Edition Peters Group - international music publishers based in Leipzig.
Lisa White was the Director of the Attingham Summer School for the Study of Historic Houses and Collections from 2004 – 2011. She read Modern History at Oxford and subsequently trained and worked as a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum. From 1985-1999 she taught at the University of Bristol, and continues to lecture for the University of Bath, University of Buckingham and other organisations in the UK and the USA. From 1999-2006 she was curator of Decorative Art at the Holburne Museum of Art, Bath. She is Chairman of the National Trust’s Arts Panel, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Curatorial Advisor to The Herschel Museum of Science, Bath. In 1990 she published a major reference work, The Pictorial Dictionary of Eighteenth Century British Furniture Design and has written many articles on the history of British furniture.
Wolf Burchard is the National Trust's Furniture Research Curator and the author of The Sovereign Artist: Charles Le Brun and the Image of Louis XIV (Paul Holberton Publishing, 2016). From 2009 to 2014 he was Curatorial Assistant at the Royal Collection Trust, where he co-curated The First Georgians: Art & Monarchy, 1714 - 1760 to commemorate the tercentenary of George I's accession to the British throne. He read history of art and architecture and holds an MA and PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art; he is on the Board of Trustees of the Georgian Group, the Editorial Panel of the Furniture History Society and on the Vetting Committees of TEFAF and Masterpiece Art Fair.
Jonathan Coulborn is the third generation of his family to run Thomas Coulborn & Sons. He spent a number of years working for Sotheby's in Sussex, London and Madrid before returning to the family business in 1999. His firm has exhibited at the annual fair of the British Antique Dealers Association (BADA) from 2005 onwards, and he was chairman of the Fair from 2009 - 2011, and chairman of the BADA itself from 2011 - 2013. His firm exhibited at the 75th and final Grosvenor House Antiques Fair where it won the Gold Medal for Object of the Year. Since 2010, Thomas Coulborn & Sons has exhibited annually at Masterpiece, and has also shown at other venues both in the United Kingdom and abroad. Jonathan lectures on the history of furniture in the United Kingdom and in Spain.
Marcus Rädecke is a director of long-standing TEFAF Maastricht exhibitor Galerie Neuse in Bremen, where he specialises in important pieces of German and French ébénisterie, Kunstkammer objects and tapestries. Born in Peru and married to a Swede but an Anglophile since childhood days in the British school system, Marcus has spent much of his life in England, including 17 years with Christie's London, where he was Head of European Furniture & Works of Art. As a trained cabinet maker and with a diploma in restoration and conservation from West Dean College, Marcus had previously worked in the London restoration workshops of Spink & Son. He also hold an MPhil in the History of Arts and has served on various vetting committees, including at TEFAF Maastricht.
Guy Apter grew up in the antiques world of his grandfather and parents. He suspects he was subliminally indoctrinated. In any event by the time he studied History of Art at school, a life-long passion was initiated. Repeated inter-rail journeys around Europe each summer from the age of 15 were spent visiting every art gallery, museum and church he could find. Since then he has spent over 25 years in the family business with a ten year break in the middle during which time he trained in naturopathy, ran a working museum on the Somerset Levels and set up a company specialising in environmental and historical education. Highlights included several guest appearances on Channel Four’s The Time Team demonstrating ancient technology. These days, he is happy to say that when he is not out riding his bike ridiculously long distances up the steepest hills he can find, he is proud to deal in the finest of eighteenth century English furniture.
Kate Hay is Assistant Curator responsible for the British Galleries in the Furniture, Textiles and Fashion Department at the V&A, where she also contributes cataloguing for major projects including the Furniture Gallery (2012) and the forthcoming Europe Galleries (December 2015). She joined the V&A after studying Politics and Philosophy at Oxford and working in the Civil Service and in the antiques trade, qualifying for the Museums Diploma while working at the Museum. Recent research includes the production of 19th century pietre dure tables in Malta, resulting in the publication of ‘Mosaic Marble Tables by J. Darmanin & Sons of Malta’, in the Furniture History (2010) and 19th century garden furniture, on which she spoke at the FHS Annual Symposium, 2015. Her interests are wide-ranging and currently include cataloguing the V&A collection of Norwegian folk art and researching the early re-use of Chinese lacquer as veneer on furniture in 17th century Britain.
Other roles across the Society exist in order to support Council in their duties.
Sharon Goodman is the furniture and decorative arts researcher for a leading London auction house. She has an undergraduate degree in History, and a Master's degree in Fine and Decorative Art. To date, she has published two academic articles on furniture: in 2007, on the designs of the Aesthetic Movement architect Bernard Smith in the Journal of the Decorative Arts Society, and in 2016, on the Mayhew & Ince commission for Sir Thomas Edwardes in Marylebone in the Furniture History Society's journal Furniture History. She has recently submitted a third article on the work of Paul Saunders for the 9th Earl of Lincoln at Exchequer House (10 Downing Street), London, for publication in The British Art Journal in 2018.
Sarah Medlam studied English Language and Literature at Oxford, before turning to furniture studies. She joined the Furniture History Society in 1974, when she started working at The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, where she was responsible for the furniture collections. She worked there for eighteen years before joining the Furniture and Woodwork Department at the V&A as a Senior Curator. She was Deputy Curator on the British Galleries Project, 1996-2001 and later on the team for the new Europe Galleries. She retired in 2012. For the FHS she has served as a Council Member, Honorary Secretary and Editor of the Journal. She is currently Chairman of the Events Committee.
Adriana is academic director of an MA run by the Institut d'Etudes Superieures des Arts (IESA) and the Wallace collection on the history and business of art and collecting, which is validated by Warwick University. Previously she was Deputy Director, Sotheby's Institute where she specialised in the history of decorative arts. She has written various articles on English furniture, including the discovery of a table designed for Queen Mary's Water Gallery at Hampton Court. She also wrote on William Beckford's collections of furniture for the exhibition held at the Bard Graduate Centre and Dulwich Art Gallery, 2002-3 and completed an article on the new world objects in Cosimo I de Medici's collection in Curiosity and Wonder, ed. A.Marr and J.H. Evans published by Ashgate Press. She is now conducting further research into the display of the Medici Tribuna in the Uffizi. Most recently, she has written an essay on the nineteenth-century interpretation of the Renaissance interior.
Jill Bace – Grants Secretary
Beatrice Goddard – Events Secretary
Keith Nicholls – Finance / Membership Secretary
Jill Bace – Publications Officer
To contact a Council Member please email us at the relevant email address:
To read the set of rules by which the FHS is governed, please click here.