Sally Ayres

Assistant Curator

Photo of Sally Ayres, Assistant CuratorSally Ayres has curatorial responsibility for the Decorative Arts in RAMM’s collections which includes musical instruments, ceramics, glass, silver, clocks, guns and furniture.


Phone: 01392 265310


Address: Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Queen Street, Exeter EX4 3RX


Art and art history have gone hand in hand with education and travel in my CV.

I have a Foundation in Art and Design and a degree in Art History (Edinburgh 1980). This was followed by six years working in Uganda before I trained as a teacher at Exeter University in 1995. (PGCE Art). I then undertook a Masters in Museum and Gallery Education from the Institute of Education, University of London in 1999.

In 2012 I completed an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctorate, working with the RAMM’s World Cultures collection. Included in this project was an exhibition in the World Cultures Gallery which examined the multiple interpretations of Richard Dennett’s Congo collection.

In 2013 I was appointed Assistant Collections Officer at Bristol City Museums and Art Gallery for a one-year post in the World Cultures department.

I have worked with RAMM’s learning and skills officer on various student projects since my PhD and have also carried out freelance research for RAMM in 2015.

Alongside this I have worked in art education with all age groups, including degree students.

My current post of Assistant Curator at RAMM began in July 2016.

Current and past projects

  • Since my PhD I have conducted research for Exeter’s community project ‘Telling our Stories, Finding our Roots’.
  • I have recently researched three donors of RAMM’s Pacific Collections (Francis Godolphin Bond, Francis William Locke Ross and Henry Leah) for the Designated Collection Pacific project.
  • My current research will focus on the Decorative Art collections at RAMM, with the silver and ceramics collections being the first focus for my study.

Recent publications

  • ‘Hidden Histories and Multiple Meanings: The Richard Dennett Collection at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter.’ PhD thesis (2012). Plymouth University [Online]. Available at
  • ‘Hidden Charms: Writing On, Around and About a Congo Collection at the Pitt Rivers Museum.’ Journal of Museum Ethnography, no. 25, (2012), pp. 55-63.