Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Three new Trustees appointed to The Victoria and Albert Museum

The press release issued by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on 31 August 2022.

The Prime Minister has appointed Professor Rosalind Blakesley, Rusty Elvidge and Zewditu Gebreyohanes as Trustees of The Victoria and Albert Museum.

Professor Polly Blakesley

Appointed for a four year term commencing 05 September 2022

Rosalind Polly Blakesley is Professor of Russian and European Art at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and co-founder of the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre. A Syndic of the Fitzwilliam Museum and Trustee of the Samuel Courtauld Trust, she has also served on the boards of the National Portrait Gallery, Kettle’s Yard and the Hamilton Kerr Institute. Exhibitions she has worked on include An Imperial Collection at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC; International Arts and Crafts at the V&A; and Russia and the Arts at the National Portrait Gallery, part of a groundbreaking exchange with the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Awards include the Pushkin Medal and, for her book, The Russian Canvas, the Art Newspaper Russia Best Book Award and the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize. She is now working on the research project Russia, Empire and the Baltic Imagination, supported by a Major Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust.

Rusty Elvidge

Appointed for a four year term commencing 05 September 2022

Rusty has been a collector since he was at Bristol University and used to buy antique silver and jewellery at auction rooms and fairs in the West Country. He has also collected Regency furniture, English watercolours and over the last 20 years paintings by the Bloomsbury set, Modern British artists, as well as Contemporary Art and Pottery. He lives in a Grade 1 listed house which he has restored. Rusty has worked in finance all his career: at Salomon Brothers on the trading floor, then at Credit Suisse heading the global foreign exchange business, and over the last decade has been on the the Private Banking side as financial adviser to some of the most successful UK based entrepreneurs. Rusty has worked in Japan, Switzerland and the US, though predominantly in the UK where he is based full time.

Zewditu Gebreyohanes

Appointed for a four year term commencing 05 September 2022

Zewditu Gebreyohanes is the Director of Restore Trust and Executive Editor of History Reclaimed. She was formerly Head of the History Matters unit at Policy Exchange. In 2020 Zewditu served on the government commission for housing and architecture ‘Building Better, Building Beautiful’ as an assistant to its Chair, the late Professor Sir Roger Scruton. She graduated from King’s College London in 2020 with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Remuneration and Governance Code

Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum are not remunerated. This appointment has been made in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments. The appointments process is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Under the Code, any significant political activity undertaken by an appointee in the last five years must be declared. This is defined as including holding office, public speaking, making a recordable donation, or candidature for election. Professor Blakesley and Rusty Elvidge did not declare any political activity. Zewditu Gebreyohanes declared having canvassed for the Conservative party within the last five years.