Contemporary Art Society announces new Chair

5 October 2010 By
Mark Stephens
Mark Stephens, photo by:Matthew Blaney

Mark Stephens said: `Lady Myners bequeathed the CAS a brilliant board and staff. The CAS is set fair to meet the challenges of bringing cutting edge contemporary art and craft to an ever widening public’.

Outgoing Chairman, Alison Myners said: ‘I would like to congratulate the Contemporary Art Society on the appointment of an outstanding Chair in Mark Stephens. Mark has given unrivalled support to the organisation for nearly 20 years, his breadth of knowledge and experience benefiting the Board to the highest degree. The time Mark has given the Board, his energy and passion for the work of the Contemporary Art Society, in building relevant collections of exciting new art around the UK has made a huge difference. His celebrated leadership skills will ensure that the Contemporary Art Society continues to play a vital role in the visual arts ecology’.

Veronica Wadley, London Chair of Arts Council England said: ‘Mark has been an asset to the Contemporary Art Society for almost 20 years now. He is an enthusiastic advocate for the arts and for the important role they can play in our society. There are challenging times ahead for the arts sector and we wish Mark and CAS the best as they face those challenges, ensuring that contemporary art remains an important part of public collections across the country.’

Myriam Blundell, Chair of the CAS Nominations Committee said: `We are truly excited with the appointment of Mark in the role of Chairman of our Board and organisation. It was a natural transition from his previous role as a Vice-Chair, and we remain hugely indebted to him for a long-standing commitment to the numerous successes our organisations has counted under his leadership as a board member and as Vice Chair.’

Paul Hobson, Contemporary Art Society Director said: `Mark brings to this role very many personal and professional qualities and networks, combined with great insight into the history and work of the organisation spanning almost two decades. I am absolutely delighted that he has accepted the invitation of the Board and look forward to working closely with him in the coming years.’

Notes for Editors:
Founded in 1910, the Contemporary Art Society exists to develop public collections of contemporary art in the UK.

Mark Stephens, an avid collector and son of a fine artist, joined the Board of the Contemporary Art Society in 1991 and was Vice Chair to Alison Myners. As a senior partner at Finers Stephens Innocent, he has undertaken some of the highest profile cases in cultural property law and litigation. He is regularly in the media, often appearing on TV & radio. Mark is also Chair of the University of East London.

Alison Myners was the Chair of the Contemporary Art Society from 2006 until 2010. Alison oversaw a period of increased public profile for the organisation, bringing in new membership support at all levels, stronger recurrent revenues and the introduction of modern governance structures. Alison is an Emeritus Trustee of the Royal Academy of Arts Trust, sits on the RA Schools Committee where she was previously Chair of Patrons, and was a member of the Board that reviewed the Governance of the Royal Academy. Alison has recently been appointed Chair of the ICA Board.

Veronica Wadley is the London Chair of Arts Council England. She is also the former editor of the London Evening Standard. During her seven years as editor, she championed the arts and chaired the Evening Standard Theatre and Film Awards. In the last year, she has joined the board of the Northern Ballet Theatre, the Mayor of London’s Music Education Steering Group, the Advisory Council of Arts & Business and is an advisor to Greenhouse Schools Project (a charity which provides sport and dance programmes in deprived areas of London) and a new digital arts business Hibrow. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Myriam Blundell is a Trustee of the Contemporary Art Society and Chair of the Nominations Committee, which leads on Board appointments. Myriam is an independent art curator and producer working across a wide range of art events, including commercial shows, institutional exhibitions and educational art programmes. Myriam also chairs the International Collectors’ Forum of the Contemporary Art Society.

Paul Hobson has been Director of the Contemporary Art Society since August 2007. He joined the CAS from The Showroom where he had been Interim Director. Previous senior positions include Head of Strategy and Development for the Serpentine Gallery and Head of the Royal Academy Trust.

For further information contact Laura Peterle on 020 7831 1243 or by email at