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Press release

Appointment of new Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures, The Royal Collection

Release date: Friday, 17 December 2004

Her Majesty The Queen has appointed Mr Desmond Shawe-Taylor to the position of Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures. Mr Shawe-Taylor, who is currently Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery, will join the Royal Collection as Surveyor Designate in April 2005 and will succeed Christopher Lloyd on Mr Lloyd's retirement in July. The Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures is a senior member of the Royal Collection, one of the five departments of the Royal Household.

Desmond Shawe-Taylor, who is 49, has been Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery since 1996. He has overseen the major refurbishment of the Gallery, which was inaugurated by The Queen in 2000.  He is a graduate of University College, Oxford, where he was awarded a First in English.  He obtained a further degree in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute and from 1979 to 1996 taught in the History of Art Department at the University of Nottingham.  Mr Shawe-Taylor has written on a wide range of subjects, including Georgian portraiture, the paintings collection at Dulwich and numerous exhibition catalogues. He is married to Rose, a professional painter, and has three children.

The  Royal  Collection,  one  of  the  largest  and  most  important  art  collections  in  the world,  is  held  in  trust  by  The  Queen  as  Sovereign  for  her  successors  and  the Nation.  The  paintings  comprise  one  of  the  best  known  and  most  significant elements of the Collection. Working to the Director of the Royal Collection, the Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures has overall curatorial responsibility for some 7,000 oil paintings and 3,000 miniatures.

Sir Hugh Roberts, Director of the Royal Collection, said, 'Desmond Shawe-Taylor will bring with him a wealth of experience from his time at Dulwich, which has seen a tremendous renaissance in the period of his directorship.  This will be enormously valuable to the Royal Collection in the years to come. We greatly look forward to working with him.'

Desmond Shawe-Taylor said, 'It is a huge honour to be chosen to succeed Christopher Lloyd as Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures.  The Royal Collection has a great tradition of scholarship and outstanding exhibitions, and it will be an immense privilege to be part of it.  I look forward to working alongside Christopher Lloyd next year and to taking over the role, which he has filled with such distinction, upon his retirement.'

Further enquiries: Frances Dunkels, the Royal Collection, telephone: 020 7839 1377.

Note to Editors

The Royal Collection is on display at the principal royal residences, all of which are open to the public.  These include Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, the Banqueting House and Osborne House.  The new Queen's Galleries at Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the Drawings Gallery at Windsor Castle have a programme of changing exhibitions to show further areas of the Collection to the public.  Over 3,000 objects from the Royal Collection are on long-term loan to museums and galleries around the United Kingdom and abroad.