Career Profile

Acting Head of Exhibitions and Collections Management, National Portrait Gallery, London (2004-2005; interim management post)

  • Set up and project-managed relocation of sculpture collections to new offsite store; project completed on time and to budget.

Head of Curatorial Services, Manchester City Galleries (1999-2004)

  • Significant project management role in delivering curatorial elements of £35m HLF-funded Manchester Art Gallery ‘Expansion’ project: new collections displays and interpretation including the ground-breaking Clore Interactive Gallery and the Gallery of Craft and Design. Worked closely with architects and designers.
  • Managed staff teams responsible for the care and development of three collections with MLA Designated Status and exhibition/curatorial programmes at Manchester Art Gallery a well as the Grade One Listed Heaton Hall and Grade Two* Wythenshawe Hall.
  • Departmental representative for HLF-funded Conservation Plan for Heaton Hall.

Senior Keeper (Exhibitions), Manchester City Galleries (1985-1992)

  • Management Team member responsible for initiating Arts Council-funded Exhibitions Section with brief to transform the Galleries into an audience-focussed organisation through innovative exhibitions/interpretation programmes.
  • Howard Smith moved to Manchester in 1985 from Bradford Art Galleries and Museums where he was Keeper of Exhibitions.

Keeper of Art (Exhibitions), Manchester City Galleries (1992-1999)

  • Created exhibition programme characterised by powerful strands of contemporary art and design, new commissions and the reassessment of historic art.
  • Responsible for numerous schemes to upgrade facilities at Manchester Art Gallery and also the conversion of the Upper Campfield Market as a venue for the British Art Show 4.
  • Pursued results orientated income generating strategy to deliver programmes at ambitious level; prepared successful submissions to sponsors, trusts and agencies, generating up to 33% gross expenditure.