Hunt on for new director for Norwich's leading art gallery

Sarah BrealeyThe woman who runs Norwich's leading art gallery is preparing to step down and the hunt is on for her replacement.Sarah Brealey

The woman who runs Norwich's leading art gallery is preparing to step down and the hunt is on for her replacement.

Nichola Johnson has been director of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia since 1997. She is due to retire this summer and the centre is looking for someone to take over.

In her time as director, Ms Johnson has overseen a major �10m revamp lasting nearly two years, and abolished admission charges for the permanent collections. She also runs the university's museology programme and is a past chairman of the national University Museums Group.

She grew up in Suffolk and came to Norfolk to work at UEA in 1993.

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The Sainsbury Centre opened in 1978 following the donation by Sir Robert and Lady Lisa Sainsbury of their collection of world art to the University of East Anglia. The collection includes works by Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon. There is also a programme of temporary exhibitions, which currently include a display of artists' studios and the Anderson collection of art nouveau.

The vacancy has been advertised nationally and offers 'a remuneration package fully commensurate both with the significance of this appointment and the calibre of the successful candidate'.

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The university is looking for someone who can 'maintain and extend the centre's funding base and increase earned income', while furthering its position 'as one of the UK's leading university museums'.

The new director will also have to lead the 31 staff and the team of voluntary guides.

Interviews are due to take place in May and the new director will start work on September 1.

No-one at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts was available to comment.

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