25 September 2012


The death of Modern Art Oxford Director Michael Stanley, announced this week, was a great shock to the arts community; it’s also a particular loss here in the South East, where he leaves a significant legacy. Stanley has been described by  Nicholas Serota as ”a curator and director with enormous talent, imagination and dedication to art and artists.” His influence goes beyond his role as director of Modern Art Oxford and, prior to 2009, MK Gallery. One of Michael’s roles was also Chair of Turning Point South East, the organisation who commissioned and created Frame and Reference.


Amanda King, co-ordinator of Contemporary Visual Arts Network South East, writes:


It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Michael Stanley, Director of Modern Art Oxford and formerly, Milton Keynes Gallery. As a founding member of Turning Point South East, Michael was instrumental in the development of collaborative programmes in the region and was a charismatic and persuasive Chair, arguing for the importance of the visual arts and championing the work of the South East organisations.


Michael was passionate in his support of artistic talent – whether identifying stars of the future such as Cathy Wilkes or presenting seminal shows of artists such as James Lee Byars. His idea for promoting the best of regional graduates work through collaborations with local art colleges has led to the series of Platform shows currently being held in galleries across the region, including Modern Art Oxford.  Michael was also a fantastic colleague, always full of ideas and great fun to spend time with. The art world has lost a special talent and we have lost a good friend. 


Michael Stanley interviewed for Frame and Reference

Modern Art Oxford: Michael Stanley

Online book of condolences