The Director, Royal Museums Greenwich, Dr Kevin Fewster AM has announced his retirement, after more than a decade in the role.
He will step down as Director in the middle of 2019. His retirement follows the successful completion of the Museum’s Endeavour Masterplan Project (2014-18) with the recent opening of four new galleries and the move of the Museum’s collections into the new Prince Philip Maritime Collections Centre in Kidbrooke.
Kevin Fewster joined Greenwich, the world’s leading maritime museum in 2007, and during his tenure he has overseen not just the Endeavour Project but a number of other award-winning capital projects including the Sammy Ofer Wing (2011), the ship model store in partnership with the Historic Dockyard, Chatham (2010) and the recent refurbishment of the Queen’s House (2016), said by some to be the most important piece of architecture in the UK.
Under his watch, in 2012, the change of name to Royal Museums Greenwich (in tandem with the Borough of Greenwich being awarded Royal status) coincided with the reopening of the iconic Cutty Sark tea clipper following its extensive conservation, and his experience of the Olympic Games in Sydney lent itself to Greenwich being judged the best venue during the London 2012 Olympics.
Gallery and exhibition successes over the past decade have included Nelson, Navy, Nation, Turner and the Sea (2013-14) and the now annual Insight Investment, Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, to dedicated experiences for children such as Ahoy! and Against Captain’s Orders (both 2015).
Notable acquisitions have included Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle by Yinka Shonibare CBE, originally displayed on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, the Kongouro from New Holland and Portrait of a Large Dog by George Stubbs, the first depiction of an Australian kangaroo and a dingo in Western art, and the Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I, now on display in the Queen’s House.
From greatly increasing opportunities for volunteering and improving relationships worldwide via the International Congress of Maritime Museums (ICMM), to setting up the UK Maritime Heritage Forum, which he has chaired since 2008, it has been a long and successful tenure.
Chair of Trustees, Sir Charles Dunstone said “The Trustees and I are enormously grateful for Kevin’s considerable contribution over the past 12 years. The significant achievement that is the completion of the Endeavour Project is apt recognition of his drive and determination to see this through to successful conclusion. We wish him very well for a long and happy retirement.”
Photograph: Kevin Fewster with ICMM President’s gavel