Anne's Biography

Introduction

I am a lecturer and guide for private tours at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington and participate in the public education programme of gallery talks and study days at the British Museum.

 

I am an Accredited Lecturer for the Arts Society (formerly known as NADFAS).  I am an adjunct faculty member at the Eckerd College Florida London Study Centre where I teach the course 'Art History, British Paintings 1760-1960' to students during their Study Abroad semesters in London. For ten years from 2006, I guided private tours in the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace for the Royal Collection Trust and have continued to give lectures in the Queen’s Gallery.

I have guided private tours in major London museums and art galleries including the Wallace Collection, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain, the Guildhall Art Gallery, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Chiswick House, Ham House and the Royal Academy. I was formerly a guide at the Courtauld Gallery, the Hermitage Rooms and the Gilbert Collection at Somerset House. I have lectured for the British Council in Moscow, for Arts Societies across the United Kingdom and in Europe, for the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, for Sotheby’s Institute, Christie’s Education, Regent’s University, for private members’ clubs and local history societies.   

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'Light, Shadow and Snow in the John Madejski Garden at the V&A' during the ‘Beast from the East’, February 2018

Looking Back in Time and Inspirations

I grew up far from London, in Accrington, a town formerly at the heart of the Industrial Revolution situated within the spectacular landscape of East Lancashire. I remember many childhood visits to the Haworth Art Gallery - a small museum with a fine collection of Victorian paintings and an outstanding collection of Tiffany Glass. My mother had a passionate and enduring interest in local history, particularly in the origins and history of the Church of St John the Evangelist. This unassuming place of worship has a remarkable collection of stained glass and houses the Memorial Chapel to the Accrington Pals. The legacy of Accrington's history as a textile town with strong local traditions of domestic dress-making continue to inspire me today.  

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Accrington, Lancashire viewed from The Coppice

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Whalley Abbey in the Snow, December 2003

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The spire of the Church of St John the Evangelist, Accrington rising above the streets of the town, December 2003

Details of the Shrigley and Hunt West Window at the church of St John the Evangelist, Accrington. Photos shown here by kind permission of the Reverend Hugh Scriven.

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The Haworth Art Gallery, Accrington at dusk, 30th October 2015

The Victorian Arcade, Accrington

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Please click here for more photographs showing some of the architecture, history and people of Accrington and the landscapes of East Lancashire. 

Durham University

From 1978 to 1981 I studied Modern History at the University of Durham.  Durham’s ancient cathedral and the modest church of St John the Evangelist, Accrington have a surprising connection as both have a window by the celebrated stained glass artist Tom Denny. During my third and final year I studied ‘The Gentry and Aristocracy’ during the Tudor and Stuart periods under Mr James, a scholar within the History Department. This inspiring course confirmed my life-long interest in social history and ignited a passion for the study of historic portraiture, fashion, interiors and collecting works of art as markers of personal, familial and social identity. I graduated in 1981 with a BA Honours degree in Modern History.

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Durham Cathedral and the University Library on Palace Green, 2019

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The High Altar, Neville Screen and the Rose Window, Durham Cathedral, 5th November 2019

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Bonhams and Christie's

In late 1981, I joined Bonhams Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers in Knightsbridge as a trainee in the ‘European and Oriental Ceramics and Works of Art Department’, handling rare works of art and learning first-hand from some of the most knowledgeable people of all – international dealers and collectors, all of whom were specialists in their chosen fields. My first visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum was on an exceptionally cold winter morning in 1982. I have vivid memories of sliding along the ice from Knightsbridge to South Kensington and being enraptured by what I saw and experienced at this amazing museum. I could not have predicted, at that time, that the V&A would play such an important role in my later life. At Bonhams, I was promoted to cataloguer and valuer, then in early 1987 I joined Christie’s Fine Art Auctioneers in South Kensington as a specialist in European ceramics, cataloguing high-volume sales.  In 1991, I became senior ceramics specialist in charge of 19th Century European Ceramics at Christie’s head office in King Street, London and visited private collections in England and Europe. I remember an extraordinary visit to Leipzig not long after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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Anne Haworth in Venice, November 1985, a youthful encounter with a remarkable city. Photograph taken by Marisa.

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Anne Haworth in Yu Garden, a classical Chinese garden with lake, pavilions, rocks and shadows in Shanghai's Old City, October 1995

Life in Shanghai, China

In 1995 I relocated to Shanghai, China, living there for seven momentous and mesmerising years, witnessing and photographing the transformational redevelopment of the city. The new Shanghai Museum, which opened in 1997, was an irresistible magnet and I was fortunate to visit several ancient kiln sites around China, including at Jingdezhen. I lectured on the China trade and the cultural history of tea, porcelain and silk in Europe to international communities of diplomats, chambers of commerce and expatriates in Shanghai and Beijing.

Please click here for more photographs and details of Life in China

Return to London

I returned to London in 2002 and was asked to work on a short project cataloguing a collection of Chinese blue and white porcelain at Kensington Palace. Then my second career as a freelance lecturer in London began at the V&A with a popular evening lecture on Shanghai and a contribution to a study day called 'Excellent Diversity': The Tulip in Art and Design.

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Kensington Palace