The Ashmolean has announced that Professor Brown will retire from his post as Director of the Ashmolean on 30 September 2014 after serving in that position for sixteen years.
Following a sabbatical year, he will take up a position as aor three years unt His work will be on Van Dyck and Rembrandt with the latter to be the focus of an exhibition in the Ashmolean in 2016.
He took up the post of Director of the Ashmolean Museum in 1998 and the years of his Directorship have transformed the Museum. Visitor figures have risen from 100,000 to over a million during these years.
The Museum will launch a campaign to create The Professor Christopher Brown Fund which will be used to establish curatorial fellowships at the Ashmolean.
The process of finding Professor Brown’s successor will now begin so that his successor will be available to take up the position when he steps down.
Bernard Taylor, Chairman of the Visitors of the Ashmolean has said: Christopher’s tenure as Director has involved huge positive development for the Ashmolean and he has overseen change on a grand scale with the implementation of architect the late Rick Mather’s wonderful design to transform the Museum’s building. Visitor numbers have increased four fold since the opening of the remodelled building, the museum’s scholarly programme has been reemphasised and an ambitious temporary exhibition programme launched. Christopher has been tireless in successfully seeking financial support for the Ashmolean on an international scale. I am delighted that following his retirement, he will remain in Oxford doing his research.
Andrew Hamilton, Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said: The Ashmolean Museum has prospered hugely during Christopher Brown’s Directorship, which has seen the transformation of both the building and the gallery space within it. The development of the Ashmolean has justly won plaudits and accolades, and owes much to Christopher’s own drive, vision, and imagination. The University, the City of Oxford, and – indeed – the entire country have much cause to be grateful for all that Christopher has done for the Ashmolean, and I am pleased that he will be able to spend more time after his retirement in pursuing his own research, after such selfless service in the cause of one of the world’s greatest university museums.