The Queens Birthday Honours list has again snubbed the Visual Arts. This is the second time since 2015 began, with the New Years Honours List thin on rewarding the Visual Arts sector, despite considerable cultural accomplishments. It is truly astounding that not one noted British visual artist has been presented with an order of chivalry in this spring/summer List. On the other hand, regional museums seemed to fair well.
The New Year Honours List is a British tradition marked by naming new members of orders of chivalry and recipients of other official British honours. A number of other Commonwealth realms also mark this day in this way. The awards are presented by or in the name of the reigning monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II or her vice-regal representative. The selection is made up from names nominated by government officials and now the public are also allowed to nominate. Honours have been awarded at New Year since at least 1890, the year a list of Queen Victoria’s awards was published.
The list as we see it
Dr Maria Jane BALSHAW Director, Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery. For services to the Arts. (Greater Manchester)
Alexander Moinet POOTS Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director, Manchester International Festival. For services to the Arts.
Candida, Mrs GERTLER Co-founder, Outset Contemporary Art Fund. For services to Contemporary Visual Arts and Arts Philanthropy. (London)
Philippa Jane, Mrs GLANVILLE For services to the Decorative Arts and Arts Heritage.
Ms Perdita Mary HUNT, DL Director, Watts Gallery. For services to Mrs Gergaud the Arts.
Simon Philip Zbigniew WALLIS Director, The Hepworth Wakefield. For services to Art. (Wakefield, West Yorkshire)
Joseph Gilfred STUDHOLME Lately Chair, The Salisbury Museum. For services to Museums.
Ms Katharine ARNOLD-FORSTER Head of Museums and Special Collections and Director, Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading. For services to University Museums.
Simon Wallis, Director of The Hepworth Wakefield has been awarded an OBE for services to the arts in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2015. The award recognises his contribution to the visual arts over the past seven years at The Hepworth Wakefield.