Desmond Shawe-Taylor

Desmond Philip Shawe-Taylor LVO (born 30 September 1955) was Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures from 2005 to 2020.[1] He succeeded Christopher Lloyd on Lloyd's retirement.[2]

Early lifeEdit

Shawe-Taylor is the son of Brian Newton Shawe-Taylor and Jocelyn Cecilia Shawe-Taylor. He was educated at Shrewsbury School, University College, Oxford, and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.[3]


Shawe-Taylor was a lecturer in the History of Art Department of the University of Nottingham from 1979 to 1996,[3] and director of Dulwich Picture Gallery from 1996 to 2005, when he was succeeded by Ian Dejardin.[2] He has published several books: Genial Company: the theme of genius in eighteenth-century British portraiture, 1987; The Georgians: eighteenth-century portraiture and society, 1990; Dramatic Art: theatrical paintings from the Garrick Club, 1997; Rembrandt to Gainsborough: masterpieces from Dulwich Picture Gallery, 1999; Shakespeare in Art, 2003; Bruegel to Rubens: masters of Flemish painting, 2007; and The Conversation Piece: scenes of fashionable life, 2009.[3]

He was made redundant in December 2020, following the news that the Royal Collections Trust "expects to lose £64m in income this year because Buckingham Palace and other sites have been shut to visitors." [1]


In 1987, Shawe-Taylor married Rosemary North.[3] They have three children: Marianne, Edward and William.


  1. ^ a b "Queen's art experts leave as Covid hits royal finances". 23 December 2020 – via
  2. ^ a b "Appointment of new Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures", The Royal Collection, 17 December 2004, accessed 22 May 2008
  3. ^ a b c d "Shawe-Taylor, Desmond Philip", Who's Who 2010, A & C Black, 2010; online edition, Oxford University Press, December 2009; online edition, November 2009, accessed 1 June 2010 (requires subscription)
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Giles Waterfield
Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery
Succeeded by
Ian Dejardin
Preceded by
Christopher Lloyd
Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures
Succeeded by