Welcome to Worcestershire Heritage, Art & Museums Charity

The Worcestershire Heritage, Art and Museums charity was the inspiration of our Founder Professor Rolf Olsen. Rolf wanted to support the enhancement of cultural life in Worcester, the home that he and his late wife Shirley had loved for over 20 years.

Rolf’s specific vision was to increase the Art Gallery & Museum’s reputation as a regionally significant art gallery. In addition, Rolf wanted to support projects that encourage many different groups of people to engage with, learn and to enjoy their interactions with the Museums. He was the driving force – laying the foundation stones, creating a road map for success and becoming the charity’s first donor.

Sadly Rolf passed away in 2022 but the energy and commitment that he put into the early stages has enabled the Trustees to move forward and to turn his dream for the Art Gallery and Museum into reality. We are so proud to be able to do this for Rolf and Shirley.

Whether you are already a Museum Member, would like to become a Trustee, are interested in the progress we make or would like to make a donation, we are always happy to hear from you.

Caroline Naisbitt (Chair of Trustees)

Aims of the charity

Worcestershire Heritage, Art & Museums is set up for the following charitable purposes:

The promotion of the appreciation and enjoyment of art, culture, heritage and science for the public benefit, by encouraging the public to participate and engage with museums and related services operated by Museums Worcestershire.

We focus our support in the following areas:

To improve public access to and enjoyment of the cultural heritage of Worcestershire through the public collections and museums managed by Museums Worcestershire.

To support projects that use engagement with these public collections and museums, and the expertise of Museums Worcestershire, to respond to local needs by offering public benefit.

Worcestershire Heritage, Art and Museums Trustees

A photo of the Worcestershire Heritage, Art and Museum trustees.

Left to right: Mike Johnson, Philippa Tinsley (Museums Manager), Rolf Olsen, Caroline Naisbitt, Iain Rutherford.

Professor Rolf Olsen

Worcestershire Heritage, Art & Museums charity was conceived in response to Professor Rolf Olsen’s enthusiasm and support for the enhancement of the cultural life of Worcester, and in particular the Art Gallery & Museum and its collections. He became the charity’s first donor and the inaugural Chair of Trustees.

Professor Olsen was Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the University of Birmingham. He became an expert in the field of mental health law and was instrumental in the reform and planning of mental health legislation. Rolf travelled world-wide to train governments and professional staff in mental health law. Rolf’s wife Shirley would accompany him on these trips, and she would visit art galleries wherever they went. This encouraged Rolf’s love of art and was his inspiration to make an impact on the cultural life of Worcester, where he lived for many years.

Rolf sadly passed away in 2022. He leaves behind him a fantastic legacy of support. Rolf’s aim was to increase the Art Gallery & Museum’s reputation as a regionally significant art gallery and enhance the cultural life of the city he called home. The Trustees are pleased and honoured to continue Rolf’s vision.

Caroline’s background is in business management which began over 30 years ago at Nationwide Building Society in London.

Her passion and expertise lie in customer service and Caroline’s recent years have been spent working with a diverse range of organisations to support them in delivering improved experiences for their customers. She has presented internationally and is a regular judge of National Customer Service Awards.

Caroline grew up in Worcester, is very proud of the city and delighted to be a trustee of Worcestershire Heritage, Art & Museums charity. Caroline is committed to realising Rolf’s vision.

Iain is a long-term resident of Worcester and worked in the museums, arts, and heritage sector for over 35 years, most recently as the first head of Museums Worcestershire from 2010 until 2017.

He has also provided advice and consultancy to a wide range of organisations including international companies, charitable trusts and local authorities, and on museum projects ranging from major capital developments to recruitment and planning.

Mike has lived in Worcester for over 40 years and has been a City Councillor for 8 years. He has been heavily involved in the cultural life of the city, having been Chairman of the Communities Committee and Chairman of the Joint Museums Committee, during which time he oversaw the development of the museums Strategic Plan for 2019 – 2024. Prior to this Mike worked as a Management Consultant for the NHS in the West Midlands.

Mike’s aim for the Charitable Trust is to raise funds to further the success of the Museums Service and its collections.

Fleur Dorrell, Trustee

Fleur moved to Worcester in 2022 and loves the combination of arts, culture, learning and history that runs throughout the whole city.

Fleur’s background is in applied theology, art history and social justice campaigning, having worked for various charities; national Christian institutions; in social policy with the UK government and the UN; in publishing and the Royal Navy for the last 35 years. She is a writer and public speaker.

Fleur is passionate about enabling more people to engage with museums, to help create new partnerships across Worcester and to support the development of exciting exhibitions, events and activities for all age groups.

Victoria Osborne WHAMVictoria is Curator (Fine Art) at Birmingham Museums Trust and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham. She began her career as curatorial assistant at York Art Gallery before moving to Birmingham in 2001. She works with a range of audiences, partners and museum colleagues to develop and interpret the city’s art collection, plan new displays, and organise exhibitions, most recently Victorian Radicals (2024). She is especially interested in exploring the meanings that historical collections can have for museum audiences today.

Victoria moved to Worcester in 2016 and became a trustee of WHAM to be more actively involved with supporting and promoting arts and heritage in the city and region. She is passionate about helping more people engage with Museums Worcestershire’s programmes and is particularly excited to support the team in further developing and expanding the museum collections.


Worcestershire Heritage, Art & Museums has supported Museums Worcestershire to purchase two paintings by Dame Laura Knight for Worcester’s art collection in 2022, ‘Beulah’ and ‘Lake Windermere and the Langdale Pikes’ (below).

The two works are a significant addition to the collection, which majors in works by British Impressionists and already includes three works by Knight who was a frequent visitor to Worcestershire and took inspiration from her surroundings.

The new acquisitions are on display for the first time in spring 2023 at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum, a key part of the exhibition From the Cornish Coast to the Malvern Hillswhich explores British Impressionism in Cornwall and Worcestershire.

Worcestershire Heritage, Art & Museums Charity led the campaign to purchase the artworks, with support from Art Fund, the Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, and kind donations from Art Gallery & Museum Members and donors to the charity.

How can you support the charity’s work?

You can support the work of Worcestershire Heritage, Art & Museums charity in several ways:

You can support Worcestershire Heritage, Art and Museums fundraising campaigns by making a donation to the charity. Please send a cheque payable to ‘Worcs H A & M’ to Museums Manager, Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum, Foregate Street, Worcester WR1 1DT.

Help us look after the museums collections by buying us a present from our Amazon wish list.

Consider becoming a Trustee yourself. Please email gallerymuseum@museumsworcestershire.org.uk and ask for a Trustee Information Pack.

You can also support the Art Gallery & Museum and The Commandery by becoming a Member.

For an annual fee you enjoy a range of benefits including discounts in the Museums shops, invitations to special events and a monthly newsletter. To find out more about Membership please see:

Membership at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum

Membership at The Commandery

Worcestershire Heritage, Art & Museums charity logo

Worcestershire Heritage, Art & Museums is a registered charitable incorporated organisation with charity number 1197448.

Established 2022.

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For more information on Worcestershire Heritage, Art & Museums registered charity please contact:

Philippa Tinsley
Museums Manager
Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum
Foregate Street
Worcester WR1 1DT

Email: Philippa.Tinsley@worcester.gov.uk

Telephone: 01905 25371