'Mediating the Global City: Knowledge, Pleasure and Spectacle at the Museum of London’
SHARON AMENT became Director of the Museum of London in Autumn 2012 after two decades of leadership experience in the management of UK cultural resources. A powerful exponent of the potential museums have to change people’s lives, she now leads a museum recently re-launched with the opening of its £25m Galleries of Modern London, which tell the story of one of the world’s greatest city from the Great Fire of 1666 to the present day.
Sharon comments on her new appointment thus:
“There are few roles that bring the range of opportunity and ability to make an impact upon the self-awareness and culture of a city as that of the Director of the Museum of London. My passion for the people, intellectual output and reputation of London marries well with the work and philosophy of the Museum of London.”
Sharon was previously Director of Public Engagement at London’s Natural History Museum, one of the premier institutions in research on the natural world. There she was responsible to the Museum’s visitor services, learning, communications, interactive media, exhibitions, public programmes and fund-rising, overseeing a team responsible for generating an annual income of over £18m.
From 2000 onwards she helped dramatically expand the impact of the Natural History Museum through innovative programming, the establishment of new galleries, and digital outreach, hugely increasing the public profile of the NHM to engage with a worldwide public of some 36 million people.
Sharon chairs the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, which represents 17 major cultural organisations. She is Vice-President of ECSITE, the European Network for Science Centres and Museums. Until recently she was a Trustee of the Wildscreen Trust and the International Wildlife Film Festival. efore working at the NHM she was Head of Marketing and PR at London Zoo, and before that Head of National Marketing at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust under Sir Peter Scott.
Sharon was born in Peckham, London, and grew up in both the country (Norfolk) and the city (Liverpool). She was the first person in her family to attend university, studying History of Art at the University of Leeds. She cites the impact of Liverpool's City Museum, along with that of its Walker Art Gallery and Picton Library, as being formative for her own early learning.