Press Releases

New Keeper of Art for Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Renton as its new Keeper of Art. Previously Head of Applied Art for Amgueddfa Cymru, Andrew replaces Oliver Fairclough who retired from his post last month after 28 years working for the organisation.

During his time at the Museum, Oliver successfully led the development of WalesNational Museum of Art, which has led to an increase of 100,000 visitors a year to National Museum Cardiff. His most notable acquisitions include works by William Dyce, Edward Lear, David Hockney and Burne-Jones, a collection of works by John Piper, two important paintings of Margam House, John Evan Thomass sculpture The Death of Tewdric, and being part of the consortium that recently acquired John Constables masterpiece Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows.


Looking to the future, Andrew Renton is keen to build on Olivers successes by continuing to develop the Museums art galleries and the national art collection as a source of pride and inspiration for the people of Wales.


Andrew will be responsible for Amgueddfa Cymrus arts function and the Welsh national collection of fine and applied art, which is of international importance, and includes the Davies Sisters collection of 19th-century French paintings and sculpture, a major Print Room, outstanding ceramics, and a dynamic collection of contemporary art.

Andrew offers Amgueddfa Cymru a wealth of experience with over 15 years with the Museum and over 10 yearsexperience as Head of Applied Art for Amgueddfa Cymru. Previously he worked as a curator of applied art at National Museums Liverpool.


Since coming to Cardiff in 1999 he has contributed in developing the National Museum's potential in the field of 20th-century and contemporary applied art.

In recent years he has been responsible for curating exhibitions at the National Museum in Cardiff in collaboration with Edmund de Waal (Arcanum: mapping European porcelain, 2005), Elizabeth Fritsch (Dynamic Structures: Painted Vessels by Elizabeth Fritsch, 2010) and Julian Stair (Quietus: The vessel, death & the human body, 2103). With colleagues, he developed Fragile?, a major contemporary ceramics exhibition at the Museum (2015).


Among his achievements at Amgueddfa Cymru is his research across a wide range of post-Renaissance applied art, especially Welsh ceramics, developing international partnerships including with Chongqing Culture Bureau in China and leading on a number of high profile acquisitions including a group of unique ceramics by Pablo Picasso and some major examples of contemporary ceramics.

Born in Yorkshire, Andrew speaks a number of languages including Welsh and Chinese, is a Trustee of the Crafts Study Centre, University of the Creative Arts, Farnham, and a member of the editorial team of the online journal Interpreting Ceramics.

David Anderson, Director General, Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales, said:

I am delighted that Andrew has been appointed as Keeper of Art. He is well known and greatly respected by staff at Amgueddfa Cymru and is already recognised for his contribution to the wider art community in the UK. He has a huge amount of experience in his field and an outstanding record in curating exhibitions and developing the collections.

I would also like to thank Oliver Fairclough for his immeasurable contribution to Amgueddfa Cymru and wish him all the best in his retirement.

Andrew Renton, added:

It is a great pleasure and a huge honour to be appointed Keeper of Art. Amgueddfa Cymru has a world-class collection of art and its a fantastic opportunity to inspire our diverse audiences to engage creatively and imaginatively with the world we live in.

It wont be an easy task to follow in Olivers footsteps but Im looking forward enormously to the next chapter. I want to help make the life-changing potential of art accessible to everyone in Wales and the creative achievements of Wales known to the wider world. Im really looking forward to working with a dynamic team of art curators in this next important stage in the development of the National Museum of Art.

Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales operates seven museums across Wales National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans: National History Museum, National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon, Big Pit: National Coal Museum, Blaenafon, National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre, National Slate Museum, Llanberis and the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.  

Entry to all Amgueddfa Cymru museums is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Government.