Predecessor Christopher Brown
Role Art Historian
|Name Alexander Sturgis|
Years active 1991 - present
|Other names Xa Sturgis
The Great Xa|
Occupation Curator Museum director
Employer National Gallery Holburne Museum Ashmolean Museum
Title Director of the Ashmolean Museum
Alma mater University College, Oxford, Courtauld Institute of Art
Books Dan's Angel, Rebels and Martyrs, Presence: The Art of Portrait S, Optical Illusions in Art, Introducing Rembrandt
Interview with Dr Alexander Sturgis
Alexander John Sturgis (born 6 November 1963) is a British art historian and museum curator. He is the current Director of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. He was Director of the Holburne Museum in Bath from 2005 to September 2014.
Sturgis was born on 6 November 1963 in London, England. He was educated at Marlborough College, an independent school in Marlborough, Wiltshire. He studied history at University College, University of Oxford from 1982 to 1985. He graduated Bachelor of Arts (BA), which was later promoted to Master of Arts (MA). He then undertook post-graduate study in art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in 1990.
Sturgis worked at the National Gallery, an art museum in London, from 1991 to 2005. Beginning his career in the education department, he later served as exhibitions and programmes curator for six years, from 1999 to 2005. In 2005, he was appointed Director of the Holburne Museum in Bath. During his time at Holburne, he oversaw a renovation of the museum that included a £13 million extension.
He moved to the City of Oxford for the beginning of the 2014/15 academic year to take up the appointment of Director of the University of Oxford's Ashmolean Museum on 1 October 2014. He is also a Supernumerary Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford.
His publications include Rebels and Martyrs: The Image of the Artist in the Nineteenth Century (2006) and Presence: Sculpture and the Portrait (2012).
In his spare time, Sturgis is a magician under the name The Great Xa.