Leeds Castle has announced the appointment of Sue Prichard as Head Curator, a role that will see her champion the exciting changes to Bring the Castle to Life. Leeds Castle has a centuries-long reputation as ‘Playing Hostess to History’, and will be re-looking at how the Castle is presented in the light of this.
Sue joins Leeds Castle following her role as Senior Curator at the Royal Museums Greenwich, where she was responsible for the Queen’s House. Prior to that, Sue worked as a Curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum in the Furniture, Textiles and Fashion Department, where she developed her passion for mid-century design. She has written and lectured extensively on fashion and textiles from 1900-1960, and has curated a number of exhibitions including the internationally successful ‘Quilts 1700-2010: Hidden Histories, Untold Stories’.
As Head Curator, Sue will guide Leeds Castle’s future curatorial plans, most notably caring for the Castle’s buildings and landscapes, as well as the unique and important collections and interiors created by famous interior designers such as Stéphane Boudin. The French designer catered to the rich and famous, and most notably created the iconic 1960s White House interiors for Jacqueline Kennedy. Sue will also lead the development of the new Castle visitor experience for 2022 and annual special exhibitions thereafter, working closely with the Castle’s Curator Catherine Pell and Collections Assistant Peter Bonta.
Helen Bonser-Wilton, Chief Executive at Leeds Castle, said: “Leeds Castle has a 900-year history of being a glamorous retreat, the place that important people came to relax while doing business, from medieval times to the present day. Sue’s appointment is crucial to help us bring these stories to life.
“Sue will be focussing on telling the stories from above and below stairs of the famous weekend parties hosted by the Castle’s last private owner, Lady Olive Baillie, using oral histories, original artefacts and her personal collections.”
Sue Prichard commented: “I am delighted to join the team at Leeds Castle at such an exciting time. Lady Baillie was a true arbiter of taste, a woman who loved collaborating with some of the finest continental designers. She created her own eclectic vision of an English country house, during one of the most fascinating, and turbulent periods of 20th century history. I look forward to revealing some of the extraordinary stories that make Leeds Castle so unique.”
Leeds Castle is one of the most visited historic buildings in Britain. The Castle has been a luxurious retreat for guests over its 900-year-old history, with owners ranging from six medieval Queens to the Anglo-American heiress, Lady Olive Baillie, who transformed it into an elegant early 20th-century retreat and site of glamorous weekend parties for the rich and well connected.