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Christopher Brown (museum director)

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Museum director

Christopher Brown

Museum director

University of Oxford

Full Name
Christopher Paul Hadley Brown

15 April 1948 (age 67) (

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Christopher Paul Hadley Brown, CBE (born 15 April 1948) is a British art historian and academic. He was director of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England from 1998 to 2014. He is recognised as an authority on Sir Anthony van Dyck.


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Early life

Brown was born on 15 April 1948, in Tangier, Morocco. His father flew Spitfires during World War II and joined civil aviation in the post war period, flying for Gibraltar Airways and British European Airways. He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, an all-boys public school in Hertfordshire. He then matriculated into St Catherine's College, Oxford to study history. In 1966, he graduated from the University of Oxford with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Modern History. This was later promoted to Master of Arts (MA Oxon) as per tradition. He remained at St Catherine's to complete a Diploma in Art History. He then undertook post-graduate research at the Courtauld Institute of Art and completed his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree.


From 1971 to 1998 he worked at the National Gallery, London; first as Curator of 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings, eventually as Chief Curator.

Brown sits on the Prix Pictet advisory board.


In the 2011 New Year Honours, Brown was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) 'for services to museums'.

He is an honorary fellow of his alma mater St Catherine's College, Oxford.


Christopher Brown (museum director) Wikipedia