Our Trustees

Maria Hayward

Professor Maria Hayward is a Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Southampton. She graduated with a history degree before undertaking the post graduate diploma in textile conservation at the Textile Conservation Centre (TCC), Hampton Court Palace. After working as a conservator and completing a PhD in History at the London School of Economics, she worked at the TCC, both at Hampton Court and after it joined the University of Southampton in 1999. During this time she was Head of Studies and Research and Director of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Research Centre for Textile Conservation and Textile Studies (2004-07). In 2004 she was elected as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. In 2008 she transferred to History. Her publications include The 1542 Inventory of Whitehall: The Palace and Its Keeper (2004)Tapestry Conservation: Principles and Practice, edited with Frances Lennard (2005), Dress at the Court of King Henry VIII (2007), Rich Apparel: Clothing and the Law in Henry VIII’s England (2009), and The 1547 Inventory of King Henry VIII: Volume 2: Textiles and Dress, edited with Philip Ward (2012).

Wendy Hefford

Wendy Hefford, MA (Oxon), FSA, was employed at the Victoria and Albert Museum from late 1960 to 1998. Working mainly in the Department of Textiles, she became the museum’s specialist in European tapestries and carpets, printed and woven textiles, with curatorial responsibilities for care of those collections, their storage and display; for informing the public, advising arts institutions, making judicious acquisitions, contributing to exhibitions, catalogues and collaborative publications, giving lectures and papers at international conferences, undertaking and publishing original research. Aided by a two-year Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship, official retirement provided more time for research on a book, now in preparation, concerning her particular interest: English tapestry of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Work at the V&A has brought her many good friends, among them Janet Arnold, with whom she shared delight in all aspects of theatre, and Santina Levey, friend from the 1960s and fellow executor of Janet’s estate.

Vanessa Hopkins

Vanessa Hopkins has always been interested in the clothing of the past and with her husband Alan she has amassed the extensive Hopkins Collection of dress and textiles, now used for teaching at the School. Vanessa worked in the BBC Costume department for five years, first as an assistant designer on productions such as Roads to Freedom (1970), Bel Ami (1971), Candide (1973) and The Pallisers (1974) and then as a costume designer on productions such as The Evacuees (1975), the autobiographical drama by Jack Rosenthal. She now creates reproduction period fabrics for anyone involved in making historical dress.

Geoff Le Pard

Geoff Le Pard LLB (hons) Bristol, MA Writing Sheffield Hallam, worked for an International Law Firm from 1981 to 2013, spending his last three years on secondment to The London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Limited. Since retiring he has indulged his interest in writing fiction.

Santina M. Levey – Founder of the School  1938 – 2017

Santina Levey, FSA, BA Hons, D.Litt., began her museum career in Northampton, where she learnt to make lace. Later she moved to Norwich were she was responsible for three buildings on medieval foundations, a church and two museums, before winning an open competition for a research post in the Department of Textiles at the V & A Museum. Her specialist areas of study were embroidery, lace and other non-woven techniques. She wrote Lace: A History, which was published for the museum by Maney & Son in 1983. She worked in the Department for twenty years, as its Keeper from 1981-89. She was the final Curatorial Keeper. She had already started to catalogue the Blackborne Lace Collection and was instrumental in seeing it installed at The Bowes Museum. Her long and increasingly important study of the textiles at Hardwick Hall in the hands of the National Trust, culminated in The Embroideries at Hardwick Hall: a catalogue, published by The National Trust in 2007.

Johannes Pietsch

Originally trained as a fashion designer and pattern drawer, Johannes Pietsch graduated from university as a textile conservator. Then he became a specialist on historic dress and textiles. He wrote his PhD thesis about garments from the 17th century and the tailoring techniques during this period.  In 2013 he was appointed Curator of Textiles and Costume at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich, for whom he recently curated an exhibition about historic bags. The research interests of Dr. Johannes Pietsch include the history of costume and the analysis of original historic clothing.

Patrick Spottiswoode

Patrick Spottiswoode joined Shakespeare’s Globe in 1984 and became founding Director of Globe Education in 1989. Patrick lectures and directs academic conferences world-wide, has fostered international relations and understanding of Shakespeare through Globe Education outreach projects and has served as President of the multi-national Shakespeare Theater Association. In 2011, Patrick received an Honorary PhD from the University of Warwick and became an Honorary Fellow of King’s College London.
In a seven-year partnership with Deutsche Bank UK, Globe Education’s annual project has given away over £1million worth of free tickets to London state school students for a special production on the Globe stage.
Under Patrick’s direction Globe Education has grown from a staff of two to 25 full-time employees and over 70 freelancers. Globe Education is now one of the largest arts education departments in the UK, working with over 100,000 people of all ages and nationalities every year.

Susan Witherow

Susan Witherow started her early career in NYC in 1979 working as theatre manager for the Gene Frankel Theatre and School, and later producing Shakespeare plays Off off Broadway. In 1988 she was offered a job in the art world, starting with Hirschl & Adler Gallery, European paintings department, before becoming co-director of the Claude Bernard Gallery (now Michel Soskine Inc, NY and Madrid). Susan has continued to work with a group of private art clients and galleries internationally. In 2007, she formed 1001 Nights Productions Ltd to support and produce a variety of creative endeavours in art, film and theatre – 4 Broadway plays, 16 West End productions and 2 tours, including ‘Twelfth Night’ and Richard III’ (Shakespeare’s Globe, Apollo Theatre London, Belasco Theatre, NYC).