Jane Arthur FMA

Case study
“Proactively advocates and encourages others in their organisations to embrace the code of ethics (e.g. with governing bodies; in investment decisions).”

Jane Arthur FMA, museums & heritage consultant

I became a FMA in 1997 at the same time that I was appointed Head of Collections at Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery. Developing greater access to collections and improving their care were key areas of concern. 

To do this I raised the profile of preventive conservation (there’s nothing like taking your director on an International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property preventive conservation course in Rome to get the point across), leading to the creation of the first preventive conservation post at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Developing the Museums Collection Centre brought up issues of access, ownership and accountability which needed to be addressed in committee reports and with elected members.

I have a longstanding interest in collection disposal from covering the closure of the Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum in 1991 when I was working at the West Midlands Regional Museums Council. This has underpinned a lot of the standards work I’ve been involved in through membership of the Registration, and now, Accreditation Committees and the MA Ethics Committe.

As a consultant and trustee of two charitable organisations in the sector I regularly promote use of the code in new museum development, funding and investment decisions and workforce development. In a way the MA code of ethics has become part of the DNA of my working life.