Mary Alexander Biographical Background

mary alexanderMary Alexander trained as an art historian and graduated with a B.A. Hons in History and History of Art, and an M.A. in History of Art with Distinction from University College London. Her background combines an unusual blend of academic and communications skills and experiences, including lecturing to various arts organisations, working with design professionals on special events and publications, and writing on various aspects of the history of art and design.

Mary is an experienced public speaker and regularly contributes articles to magazines, newspapers and professional journals. After completing her first degree, she seized on a rare opportunity to work at Platt Hall, Manchester which houses an internationally renowned collection of historic clothing. Responsibilities included research and organising exhibitions and public lectures. This led to a life-long fascination with the language and codes of dress, and its place within the social and cultural history of art and design. For ten years she was a Visiting Lecturer and External Examiner in the History of Art and Dress at Christie's Education in London.

boutique_mannequinsAnother life-long passion for contemporary design, combined with a serendipitous meeting, led to working for Pentagram Design in London and New York, working on publications and conferences/special events – including the International Aspen Design Conference in Colorado (on the theme of British Design with an eclectic mix of celebrity guest speakers from the UK) and an international forum on design for business leaders at Stanford University in California.

Lecturing and tutoring experience in the history of art has included the Open University, Manchester University (extra mural department), Leeds University, Christie's Education in London, and various arts, heritage and antiquarian societies, including National Trust Associations and The Arts Society (previously known as NADFAS).

Since moving to Norfolk in 2000, Mary is now a freelance lecturer and travels widely in the UK, Europe and further afield, including three successful lecture tours in Australia, the most recent in 2016 and New Zealand in 2011. Both have requested her to return again.

She is actively involved locally with conservation issues and visual awareness campaigns in the Holt Society, for which she has written two publications, Good Design is Good Business, and First Impressions. Mary is an enthusiastic member and former President (until 2020) of The Arts Society Glaven Valley in north Norfolk.

We have had the most wonderfully positive response to your lectures. All commented on how interesting and enjoyable they found them. Your presentation was most entertaining and your images were fantastic. We would all be delighted if you would consider returning to Australia again”. Sydney ADFAS