Chris Breward is an established arts leader, scholar, teacher, and curator with a wealth of executive and non-executive experience across museums and galleries, art schools and universities. He is currently Director of Collection and Research at the National Galleries of Scotland where he is responsible for the development, interpretation, research and display of Scotland’s national art collection.
As Principal of Edinburgh College of Art, Chris led major organisational change following the merger of the College with the University of Edinburgh, developing cross-disciplinary teaching programmes and raising the College’s academic and research profile. Prior to that, as Head of Research at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), he worked across its diverse collections, contributing to exhibitions including British Design, David Bowie Is and Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.
A respected researcher and lecturer, Chris has published extensively on design and fashion with a special interest in menswear.
Bruce Minto OBE, Chair of the Board of Trustees of National Museums Scotland said:
“Chris’s background and experience make him ideally placed to lead National Museums Scotland as we build upon our successes and embark upon the next phase of development of our museums and collections. He brings a fresh perspective to our remarkable multi-disciplinary collection, and the vision and ability to further extend our profile and reach, both nationally and internationally, through new creative connections and collaborations. We all look forward to welcoming him.”
Chris Breward said:
“I’m delighted to be joining National Museums Scotland, an organisation I’ve come to know very well over recent years as trustee, collaborator and regular and enthusiastic visitor. It’s a great privilege to be continuing the outstanding work Gordon and his colleagues have pioneered through the transformation of the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street, the National Museum of Flight at East Fortune and the National Museums Collection Centre in Granton.
“Museums have become crucial spaces of connection, inspiration and the promotion of knowledge and understanding, and I look forward with great excitement to working with Trustees, staff, audiences, partners and supporters in making the very best of Scotland’s exceptional collections, across its five physical sites and in the digital realm, so that through compelling displays and programming we can explore the big ideas and tell the important stories that will make a difference nationally and across the world in the coming decades.”
Chris holds a PhD in History of Design from the Royal College of Art and is a Professorial Fellow of Edinburgh College of Art. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts and a Fellow of the Royal College of Art. He is a former Trustee of National Museums Scotland.