Gerard Vaughan (art historian)

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Gerard Vaughan

Director of the National Gallery of Australia
In office
10 November 2014 – 2 July 2018
Preceded byRon Radford
Succeeded byNick Mitzevich
Director of the National Gallery of Victoria
In office
29 July 1999[1] – 20 July 2012[2]
Preceded byTimothy Potts
Succeeded byTony Ellwood
Personal details
Gerard Ronald Vaughan

(1953-09-27) 27 September 1953 (age 67)
Devonport, Tasmania, Australia
Rosemary Flanders
(m. 1979)
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne
University of Oxford
OccupationArt historian and art museum director

Gerard Ronald Vaughan AM (born 27 September 1953) is an Australian art historian and curator. He was director of the National Gallery of Victoria from 1999 to 2012, and was director of the National Gallery of Australia from 2014 to 2018.

Early life and education[edit]

Vaughan was born in Devonport, Tasmania in 1953. He was educated in Melbourne at Christian Brothers College, St Kilda and the University of Melbourne where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and a Master of Arts, writing his thesis on French symbolist painter Maurice Denis.[3]


In 1981, Vaughan undertook doctoral research at the University of Oxford on the collecting of Roman antiquities in 18th century England, concentrating on the collector and antiquary Charles Townley, in the context of neoclassical taste. He remained in England for eighteen years, holding several academic positions there as a visiting scholar, resident fellow at Wolfson College, London-based consultant for the Felton Bequest at the National Gallery of Victoria, and private secretary to the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, Sir Patrick Neill, and later, Sir Richard Southwood. In 1991, Vaughan was made deputy director of Campaign for Oxford, the university's fundraising appeal. In 1994, Vaughan was appointed inaugural Director of the British Museum Development Trust, with special responsibility for funding Norman Foster's Great Court.[4]


In 1999, Vaughan returned to Australia, where he was appointed Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). At the NGV, he prioritised fundraising from the private sector, firstly for the NGV's 1999-2003 redevelopment program, including Mario Bellini's re-thinking of Sir Roy Grounds' 1960s principal building, and a new building for Australian art in nearby Federation Square, by Lab Partners. He also gave attention to the gallery's foundation, increasing its capital reserves from $9 million in 1999 to some $50 million in 2011, and funding major acquisitions.[3] In 2011, Vaughan was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours, for services to the arts.[5]

In 2014, Vaughan was announced as the new director of the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), replacing Ron Radford who had headed the gallery for ten years.[6]

In September 2017, Vaughan announced his retirement, allowing the NGA a year to find his successor.[7] In April 2018, it was announced that Nick Mitzevich, the director of the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA), would take over at the start of July.[8]


Vaughan appears in the 2019 movie D'art directed by Karl von Möller[9]


  1. ^ Shmith, Michael; Coslovich, Gabriella (10 September 2011). "NGV's quiet director takes his leave (quietly)". The Age. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  2. ^ Boland, Michaela (20 July 2012). "Respected director leaves venerable NGV a better place". The Australian. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b Schmidt, Lucinda (25 May 2011). "Profile: Gerard Vaughan". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  4. ^ Who's Who in Australia 2016, ConnectWeb.
  5. ^ "VAUGHAN, Gerard Ronald". It's an Honour. Australian Government. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Gerard Vaughan named director of National Gallery of Australia in Canberra". The World Today. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  7. ^ Hardy, Karen (21 September 2017). "Gerard Vaughan retires from the National Gallery of Australia". Canberra Times. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  8. ^ Dingwell, Doug (9 April 2017). "Nick Mitzevich confirmed new boss for National Gallery". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  9. ^
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Timothy Potts
Director of the National Gallery of Victoria
Succeeded by
Tony Ellwood
Preceded by
Ron Radford
Director of the National Gallery of Australia
Succeeded by
Nick Mitzevich