Christopher Brown (museum director)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Christopher Brown
Born Christopher Paul Hadley Brown
(1948-04-15) 15 April 1948 (age 66)
Occupation Museum director
Employer University of Oxford

Christopher Paul Hadley Brown, CBE (born 15 April 1948) is a British art historian and academic. He was director of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England from 1998 to 2014.[1][2] He is recognised as an authority on Sir Anthony van Dyck.[1]

Early life[edit]

Brown was born on 15 April 1948, in Tangier, Morocco.[3][4] His father flew Spitfires during World War II and joined civil aviation in the post war period, flying for Gibraltar Airways and British European Airways.[4] He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, an all-boys public school in Hertfordshire.[3] He then matriculated into St Catherine's College, Oxford to study history.[3][5] In 1966, he graduated from the University of Oxford with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Modern History.[6] This was later promoted to Master of Arts (MA Oxon) as per tradition.[3] He remained at St Catherine's to complete a Diploma in Art History.[3][6] He then undertook post-graduate research at the Courtauld Institute of Art and completed his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree.[5]


From 1971 to 1998 he worked at the National Gallery, London; first as Curator of 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings, eventually as Chief Curator.[2]

Brown sits on the Prix Pictet advisory board.


In the 2011 New Year Honours, Brown was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) 'for services to museums'.[7]

He is an honorary fellow of his alma mater St Catherine's College, Oxford.[8]


Brown's works include:[3]


  • Chatelet, Albert (1981). Early Dutch Painting. Phaidon. ISBN 0714820954. 

He has also had articles published in a number of journals, including The Times and The Times Literary Supplement.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Van Dyck: What Lies Beneath". Fake or Fortune?. Series 2. Episode 3. 30 September 2012. BBC. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Our Members". National Museum Directors' Council. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Dr Christopher Brown, CBE Authorised Biography". Debrett's People of Today. Debrett's. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Traveller in Time" (pdf). Castaway ( September 2014. pp. 8–15. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Laureation address - Professor Christopher Brown CBE". News. University of St Andrews. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Freedom of Oxford for Catz Alumnus". St Catherine's College Oxford. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59647. pp. 6–7. 31 December 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Honorary Fellows". Academic staff. St Catherine's College, Oxford. Retrieved 25 September 2014.