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After the publication of the Jerwood Annual Reports 2014, we speak to the Director of Jerwood Foundation, Philippa Hogan-Hern about her life at Jerwood, in this week's blog.

How did you come to work at the Jerwood Foundation?

I read History of Art at St Andrews University and after a brief stint working for a corporate PR consultancy, I joined Christie’s Auction House, where I worked for 13 years. In the final 8 years of my time there, I worked as Business Manager in the British & Irish Art Department. 

It was whilst working at Christie’s that I first came across the Jerwood Foundation and its wide reach within the arts. When I heard about the maternity role position of Acting Director in November 2012, I knew I had to apply and was fortunate enough to have been appointed Director of the Foundation in July 2013.

Can you describe a typical working week at the Jerwood Foundation?

I know it is a cliché, but no two days are the same!  It is variety that makes my working week so interesting and unpredictable. I sit on the boards of Jerwood Space and Jerwood Gallery and I am a trustee of Jerwood Charitable Foundation, so monitoring and supporting their wide-ranging activities, studying board papers and attending meetings is a key part of any day.

I speak with the Foundation’s Chairman, Alan Grieve, on a daily basis about every aspect of Jerwood, but particularly about matters relating to fund management and major strategic decisions. Every month I prepare a report and financial overview of the organisations that fall under the Jerwood umbrella for the Jerwood Council. This covers Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Jerwood Space and Jerwood Gallery as well as Jerwood Foundation.

Particularly through the work of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Jerwood supports and rewards creativity, excellence, commitment and dedication in the visual and performing arts. As a result, I am very fortunate in having wonderful opportunities to see the final outcomes of some of the work we have supported. It might be at a theatre, watching a play rehearsed at Jerwood Space, directed by an emerging Jerwood Assistant Director or written by a Jerwood young playwright, attending the latest gallery opening, auction preview or a Jerwood prize-giving.

Do you have a favourite painting in the Jerwood Collection?

Coast Magazine described Jerwood Collection as ‘a jewel-box-worthy modern art collection’ which is a lovely metaphor. If I had to pick one of the jewels, it would be Walter Sickert’s St Rémy which is currently hanging in Room 4. I have seen it hanging on different walls in the gallery, but for some reason, it really sings where it is now.

Until it was purchased in 2009 by Alan Grieve, it had never been presented on the open market, nor had it been exhibited publicly, as it had been retained in the collection of the original owners. St Rémy is being loaned to Pallant House Gallery, Chichester for its upcoming exhibition Sickert’s Dieppe.

Which exhibition at Jerwood Gallery have you enjoyed the most so far?

That is a genuinely tough question as they have all been so different, so I think I will have to cheat and pick Jerwood Collection: Revealed from the past, and In Focus: Edward Burra  A Rye View from the present. I am hugely looking forward to an exhibition of works from the Kettle’s Yard Collection which opens in the autumn.

Image copyright Pete Jones
22 May, 2015
Written by Philippa Hogan-Hern