Research and evaluation

I have extensive experience preparing formative, front-end and summative evaluations for many museums, and regularly undertake community consultation, research and evaluation for Heritage Fund Activity Plans and other funding programmes.

Some of my work is listed below.

Project evaluation

Dulwich Picture Gallery
I evaluated Dulwich Picture Gallery’s project, Journeys: Art, Identity and Belonging, which aimed to open up their collection of Old Master artworks to new and diverse visitors more representative of the Gallery’s local area. I am now evaluating their Esmée Fairbairn Foundation funded follow-up project, The Past for the Present.

The Charterhouse
Evaluating The Charterhouse’s NLHF funded refurbishment of their Great Chamber, and setting up an evaluation framework and advising on evaluation for their previous project Revealing the Charterhouse.

Newham Heritage Month
I have evaluated the London Borough of Newham’s NLHF funded celebration of Newham, Newham Heritage Month, for the past three years.

Hackney Church
I evaluated Hackney Church’s NLHF funded project to conserve and renew their Grade II* Church in East London.

Pioneering Courage: Housing and the Working Woman 1919 – 1939
I worked with West London housing association, Women’s Pioneer Housing, to evaluate their NLHF project to conserve their archive and to research and share their important history.

Kimjang: Making and sharing Kimchi
A community project based in New Malden aimed at celebrating Kimjang, the ancient Korean tradition of communally preparing and preserving kimchi.

The Postal Museum
Evaluating, alongside Julia Holberry Associates, The Postal Museum and Mail Rail capital project and their programme to reach new audiences for the NLHF.

Kettle’s Yard
Writing an evaluation of Kettle’s Yard’s new gallery spaces and activity programme for the NLHF and Arts Council England.

British Museum – The Museum and Me and Explore More
Evaluation of the Museum’s programme to develop creative projects for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and adults with learning disabilities.

Setting up an evaluation framework, tools and advising on evaluation for Wilton’s, a historic Victorian Music Hall in East London.

Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village
Evaluating the new NLHF funded exhibition galleries and learning programme celebrating the life and work of GF and Mary Watts.

Bath Abbey
Evaluating the Abbey’s NLHF funded Footprint project – a £19.3 million programme of capital works and interpretation.

Reading Abbey Ruins
Developing an evaluation framework and evaluation materials such as data collection templates, feedback forms and questionnaires for Reading Borough Council’s NLHF project to open up the Reading Abbey Ruins.

Punk London
Summative evaluation of the London-wide celebration of punk, Punk London – a partnership between the Greater London Authority, Design Museum, British Film Institute, Roundhouse and Museum of London.

Bethlem: Museum of the Mind
Evaluation of the museum’s capital project and NLHF Activity Plan with Alison Porter.

Bentley Priory Museum
Evaluation of the capital project and NLHF Activity Plan for the new Bentley Priory Museum, the home of Fighter Command in World War II, with Alison Porter.

Windsor & Royal Borough Museum
Evaluation of the museum ’s NLHF funded Beyond the Castle Walls project to improve interpretation, learning and develop new audiences.

Exhibition evaluation

British Library
Summative evaluation of the Marvellous and Mischievous: Literature’s Young Rebels and Paddington: The Story of a Bear exhibitions for families at the British Library.

Strawberry Hill House
Summative evaluation of The Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill: Masterpieces from Horace Walpole’s Collection exhibition which re-united Horace Walpole’s house and collection for the first time since its dispersal in 1842.

Museum of London
Front-end evaluation for the Museum’s Fire! Fire! and Roman Dead exhibitions with teachers and family visitors, and summative evaluation for displays on West Indians: Forefathers of the Metropolitan Police and Fighting for Empire: From Slavery to Military Service.

Bletchley Park
Front-end and summative evaluation, including focus groups, accompanied visits and visitor surveys for the permanent The Bombe Breakthrough exhibition in Hut 11a.

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Front-end evaluation of two upcoming exhibitions, based on six focus groups with the museum’s target audiences.

Gallery interpretation testing, Museum of London
Testing potential changes to interpretation at the museum with schools, families and adult visitors.

Tower of London, Historic Royal Palaces
Summative evaluation of the Fortress: Wellington at the Tower and The Tower in the First World War exhibitions at the Tower of London, including observation research and visitor questionnaires, and front-end evaluation for The Mantegna Gallery at Hampton Court Palace.

Courtauld Gallery
Non-user research, including accompanied visits with non-traditional gallery attenders to inform a funding application.

Photographer of the Year 2012/13 and 2013/14, Natural History Museum
Summative evaluation of the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibitions, including visitor tracking and interviews.

Roman London, Museum of London
Summative evaluation of the Museum of London’s Roman London outreach performances for primary schools.

Teachers focus groups, Museum of London
Facilitating focus groups with primary, secondary and SEN teachers to inform strategic planning at the Museum of London.

Osborne, English Heritage
Formative evaluation with families to test interpretation for the Swiss Cottage development at Osborne on the Isle of Wight, including accompanied visits and focus groups.

Battersea Arts Centre, London
Developing an evaluation framework and toolkit for BAC and its HLF funded capital project, including evaluating the autumn 2013 Cook-Up season of work. With Alison Porter.

Sebastião Salgado: Genesis, Natural History Museum
Summative evaluation of Sebastião Salgado’s photography exhibition Genesis for the Natural History Museum.

Royal Beasts, Tower of London, Historic Royal Palaces
Summative evaluation of the Royal Beasts exhibition at the Tower of London, including observation research and visitor questionnaires.

Sir John Soane’s Museum, London
Evaluation of the Marking the Line ceramics installation and exhibition across three venues, including lead museum, the Soane, as well as Port Eliot in Cornwall and Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing with Julia Holberry Associates.

The Jewel House, Tower of London, Historic Royal Palaces
Summative evaluation of the Crown Jewels redisplay at the Tower of London, including observation and tracking research and visitor questionnaires.

Lakeland Arts Trust, Windermere
Visitor research (focus groups, stakeholder consultation and an online questionnaire) to inform the redevelopment and exhibition design for Windermere Steamboat Museum with Julia Holberry Associates.

ABL Cultural Consulting, London
2001 – 2005

  • Managing and preparing research reports, market assessments, evaluations, and marketing and audience development plans for a portfolio of arts and heritage clients.
  • Managing quantitative and qualitative market research to tight budgets and deadlines; developing research methodologies and proposals, moderating focus groups, designing and analysing questionnaires, managing research suppliers and research assistants.

Key clients included:
Black Cultural Archives: Community consultation and visitor research for HLF bid
British Schools Museum, Hitchin: Visitor research and Audience Development Plan
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation: Evaluation of the Regional Museums Initiative, 2004- 2005
Lincoln Castle: Community consultation and visitor research for HLF bid
Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse theatres: Market assessment and programme of user and non-user research
Natural History Museum: Visitor research and review of the Adult Education Programme
Postal Heritage Trust: Market assessment for a potential new museum
Royal Opera House: Evaluation of the Paul Hamlyn Programme introducing young people and new audiences to opera
Wrexham County Borough Council, Bersham Heritage Centre: Visitor research for an Interpretation Plan
York Museums Trust, Yorkshire Museum and Gardens:  Visitor research for HLF bid