Jean Vacher

Curator, Crafts Study Centre, UCA Farnham

Academic, School of Crafts and Design

Having worked with a range of public collections, including fine, decorative and European peasant art, social and military history, Jean Vacher now holds the post of Curator at the Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts, with 13 years' experience of working in the field.

Jean's expertise includes exhibition curation, research and writing (the history of modern crafts), project management and the digitisation of museum collections. In 2011-13 she was Principal Investigator for a major externally-funded grant to upgrade the conservation and care of the Crafts Study Centre's Bernard Leach archive.

Her recent research has been concerned with the history, culture and identity of the Balkan people in the early part of the 20th century, viewed through their textiles and women travellers from Western Europe. It involves cross-disciplinary and comparative research methodologies. Jean enjoys subjects that combine analytical and visual approaches.

As a museum professional Jean is dedicated to sharing her research with others in the field, and to widening student and public access to the wealth of knowledge that the Crafts Study Centre collections has to offer.

Recent publications:

  • Foreword to Head, Hand, Heart: reflections on a practice, Crafts Study Centre, ISBN 978-0-9570212-3-5
  • Chapter in Fry Art Gallery, an outbreak of talent, Fry Art Gallery.



  • BA (Hons) in History, Royal Holloway College, University of London, 1982
  • MA in Museum Studies, Institute of Archaeology, University College, University of London, 1998
  • Teaching certificate in Adult Education, Guildford Continuing Adult Education/University of Surrey, 1983.
Jean Vacher Profile Picture

Professional Membership, Affiliation and Consultancy

Professional Membership, Affiliation and Consultancy:

  • Associate Member of the Museums Association (AMA), 2000
  • Committee member of the Society for Decorative Art Curators (SODAC) since 2010, Acting Secretary since 2013
  • Committee member of the Museum and Galleries Disability Association (MAGDA), 2000-2003 (Editor of Journal 2001-2).

Awards, Grants and Commisions:

  • Esmée Fairbairn Foundation Museum and Heritage Collections Strand: Bernard Leach Conservation Project, 2011-13 (£35,000).
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Project Fund Scheme for University Museums and Galleries: to upgrade the standard of care and access to (with particular emphasis on building international relations with Japan) the Crafts Study Centre's Bernard Leach collections, 2005-6 (£25,000).
  • Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC): a project to write collection level descriptions of the Centre's archives for delivery on the Archives Hub, 2004.
  • UCA Research Fund 2007: Women travellers in the Balkans, with special reference to the Crafts Study Centre textile collections of Ethel Mairet.
  • UCA Research Fund 2006: visit to Japan to research Bernard Leach Source Collection of Far Eastern ceramics.
  • Sharing Museums Skills Award, Museums Libraries and Archives Council (RESOURCE) 1998: Contributor to The Lost Arts of Europe exhibition at Haslemere Educational Museum in collaboration with the University of Brighton.

Research Outputs

Key outputs on UCARO:

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