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The 2019/2020 judges

Hettie Judah

Hettie Judah is senior art critic on the British daily paper The I, and contributor to Frieze, The Guardian, Vogue, The New York Times, Art Quarterly, Numèro Art and other publications with 'art' in the title. Her writing has been featured in numerous publications, from the catalogue of the 58th Venice Biennale to a recent book on textile art published by Phaidon. Hettie's book Art London was published in September 2019: she is currently writing a short biography of Frida Kahlo, among other things.

Sir Simon Schama

Sir Simon Schama, CBE, FRSL, FBA is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University and a Contributing Editor of the Financial Times. He is the author of nineteen multi-awarded books, and the writer-presenter of fifty documentaries on art, history and literature for BBC2. His most recent series was Civilizations, a BBC series on world art aired on 2018. On May 2019, Wordy. Sounding off on high art, low appetite and the power of memory, was published.

Karen Gregory

Karen Gregory is the author of three critically acclaimed novels for young adults, published by Bloomsbury. She wrote her first book about Bantra the mouse aged 12, then put away her word processor until after her first child was born. She studied Modern History at Somerville College, Oxford, then went on to work in local government and the NHS for a number of years. She now works for the National Trust magazine. Karen lives in Wiltshire with her two small children and an extremely greedy tortoiseshell cat called Eva.

Simon Groom

Simon Groom graduated with a degree in English Literature from Edinburgh University, and an MA and PhD in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. He worked as curator at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, before becoming Head of Exhibitions at Tate Liverpool, where he curated numerous exhibitions of modern and contemporary international art, before being appointed Director of Modern & Contemporary Art at the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Photo of Hettie Judah © Alex Schneideman. Photo of Sir Simon Schama © Charlie Bibby. Photo of Karen Gregory courtesy of Karen Gregory. Photo of Simon Groom courtesy of Simon Groom.

The 2018/2019 judges

Val McDermid

Scottish crime writer, whose novels have been translated into 40 languages, sold over 15 million copies worldwide.

Hammad Nasar

Curator, Writer, Researcher, and Senior Research Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

Louisa Buck

Art Critic and Contemporary Art Correspondent for the Art Newspaper.

Photo of Val McDermid © Fraser Rice. Photo of Hammad Nasar courtesy of Hammad Nasar. Photo of Louisa Buck courtesy of Louisa Buck.

The 2017/2018 judges

Dr Gabriele Finaldi – Director of the National Gallery

Jackie Wullschlager – Chief Art Critic of the Financial Times 

Jeremy Deller – Turner Prize winner

Dr David Dibosa – Course Leader for MA Curating and Collections at Chelsea College of Arts

Dr Janina Ramirez – cultural historian and broadcaster