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Stephen Lowy

Museum Development Officer, Berkshire & Hampshire Solent

I am passionate about museums and the potential for collections to inspire.  I studied History at the University of Ulster and completed a Masters at Leeds and later a post-graduate Diploma in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester.  I began my museum career in East Yorkshire as an Exhibitions Officer. Subsequently I worked on several major science and technology collections in the Midlands, included Birmingham’s Designated collection, improving collections care standards and facilitating better access.

I was appointed as the museum development officer for Essex, providing guidance and advice to over 70 museums ranging from small independents to regional institutions.  I ran a series of major projects, including creating an online resource that resulted in digitising over 50,000 museum objects from 25 separate institutions.

I have worked in Hampshire since 2006, first as Community Museums Manager, leading the Community Museum Curators at Hampshire County Council.  I was responsible for the development of major touring exhibitions, marketing campaigns, the renewal of Havant Museum with the Spring Art Centre and the roll out of a volunteer programme across Hampshire recruiting over 200 volunteers.

Up until 2018 I was Community Curator for the south west of the county, managing the Red House Museum and Gardens in Christchurch, a former Georgian Workhouse, and Rockbourne Roman Villa.  My work at these sites varied from curating art gallery spaces, creating successful social media channels, growing the retail and catering income, building up a popular family activity programme and erecting protective covers over a 2000 year old archaeological site.

I have also worked as consultant and mentor helping museums deliver their projects.  Recent work has included volunteer development, collection reviews, store refurbishments and collections care training.

I am an advocate of the museum sector outside my work roles, and have been an active member of museum bodies.  Originally with the Social History Curators Group, as their seminar organiser and web manager, more recently I have been a member the South Western Museums & Art Galleries Federation as Company Secretary and Director, the oldest regional museum federation in England. I have been an Associate Member of the Museums Association since 2001.