Patrick Boylan obituary


My pal Patrick Boylan, who has died aged 84, was a director of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, and later head of arts coverage and administration at Metropolis, College of London, serving to to coach a brand new technology of museum and different heritage professionals.

One in every of Patrick’s skilled preoccupations was a want to ensure that cultural artefacts and heritage weren’t misplaced because of upheaval, together with conflict. Any such loss he described as “a loss for the entire of humanity”.

His work at worldwide degree on that matter culminated in a 248-page evaluation for Unesco of the 1954 Hague Conference for the Safety of Cultural Property within the Occasion of Armed Battle, and in 1996 he grew to become one of many 4 co-founders of Blue Defend, an NGO that tries to guard heritage in occasions of conflict or pure catastrophe.

Born in Hull to Mary (nee Haxby) and her husband, Francis, a grasp joiner, Patrick had early reminiscences of the war-torn metropolis and the destruction of his household dwelling within the blitz. From childhood he revealed an inclination that later led to his profession in museums: he collected stones and fossils, hoarding them underneath his mattress till his father grew to become fearful lest the ceiling would collapse.

His secondary education passed off at Marist school in Hull, and after gaining a level in geography and geology at Hull College he stayed on for a instructing qualification in 1961. He taught geography at his old fashioned till 1963, however then resolved to observe his want to maneuver into the museum world.

There was no formal coaching to enter the career on the time, so he merely utilized for a job as keeper of geology and pure historical past for Hull Museums – and was profitable. It was there that he witnessed at first hand the results of the wartime destruction of Hull’s Central Museum in 1941.

When he grew to become director of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter in 1968 he was shortly reminded of conflict’s impression on tradition, because the laying waste of that metropolis’s centre within the Baedeker raids of 1942 was nonetheless a lot in proof throughout him.

Appointed director of Leicester’s museums and artwork galleries in 1972, he was promoted two years later to be director of arts, museums and information for all Leicestershire and Rutland. Turning into more and more conscious of the necessity for higher coaching of museum and different heritage professionals, he determined in 1990 to contribute to that effort by becoming a member of Metropolis, College of London, and remained there till his retirement in 2004.

In parallel along with his museum profession he devoted a lot vitality to serving to the Museums Affiliation as an adviser, and later the Worldwide Council of Museums (ICOM) as chairman of assorted committees. He grew to become centenary president of the Museums Affiliation (1988-90) and a vice-president of ICOM (1992-98).

In retirement he continued his work for governments, museums and different cultural establishments, and have become editor-in-chief of the Worldwide Journal of Intangible Heritage (2005-09).

He’s survived by his second spouse, Pamela (nee Inder), whom he married in 1993, their two sons, Matthew and John, and 4 sons, Andrew, Christopher, Mark and Peter, from his first marriage to Ann Worsfold, which led to divorce.


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