Contemporary Art Society announces new Chair of the Board of Trustees

7 July 2014 By
Christopher Jonas CBE, photo: © H Schneebeli 2014
Christopher Jonas CBE, photo: © H Schneebeli 2014

7 July 2014

Caroline Douglas, Director of the Contemporary Art Society, announced today that the organisation’s Trustees have appointed Christopher Jonas CBE as the Chair of the Board of Trustees. He will take up the post formally in August 2014.

Jonas brings a wealth of experience from the world of business and the arts. He is the former Chairman of Goldsmiths University of London and Chairman of the major arts restoration programmes at Tate Modern and the London Coliseum. He also chairs major companies including Henderson International Income Trust plc, as well as being a past President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Caroline Douglas, Director, Contemporary Art Society, said:

I am absolutely delighted that Christopher Jonas joins the Contemporary Art Society at this critical moment in our history, he shares our excitement about the potential to expand and deepen our support for contemporary art in the UK. Christopher’s very distinguished track record in business brings huge advantages for the Contemporary Art Society and he will be a powerful advocate for philanthropy in the arts.

Christopher Jonas CBE said:

I am honoured to accept this appointment at the Contemporary Art Society. The organisation has an outstanding history of supporting the contemporary arts and I look forward to supporting this mission as chairman. 

I would like to thank Mark Stephens for his extraordinary dedication to the society for over twenty years and I know the legacy of his contribution to the organisation will be tangible for many years to come

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Notes to Editors:


The Contemporary Art Society is a national charity that encourages an appreciation and understanding of contemporary art in the UK. With the help of our members and supporters we raise funds to purchase works by new artists which we give to museums and public galleries where they are enjoyed by a national audience; we broker significant and rare works of art by important artists of the twentieth century for public collections through our networks of patrons and private collectors; we establish relationships to commission artworks and promote contemporary art in public spaces; and we devise programmes of displays, artist talks and educational events. Since 1910 we have donated over 8,000 works to museums and public galleries – from Bacon, Freud, Hepworth and Moore in their day through to the influential artists of our own times – championing new talent, supporting curators, and encouraging philanthropy and collecting in the UK.



Christopher Jonas, CBE, is Chairman of Henderson International Income Trust plc. Past appointments include senior adviser at Lazard, an independent director on the main board of British Railways, the Port of London Authority, Canary Wharf plc. and the England board of Bank of Scotland. Jonas is a principal private equity investor in early stage companies.

Pro bono work has included Chairman of Goldsmiths University of London, immediate past Chairman of the Roedean School governing council and Chairman of the major arts restoration programmes at Tate Modern and the London Coliseum. He is a past President of the RICS and has been well known as a board adviser on property strategy for large corporations.

Jonas is also a photographer, represented by Stephen Bartels Gallery.



Mark Stephens, CBE, an avid collector and son of a fine artist, joined the Board of the Contemporary Art Society in 1991 and was Vice Chair to Alison Myners before becoming Chair in 2010.  As a senior partner at Finers Stephens Innocent, Stephens has undertaken some of the highest profile cases in cultural property law and litigation. He is regularly in the media, often appearing on TV & radio.  Stephens is also Chair of the Design and Artists Copyright Society.



Caroline Douglas has been Director of the Contemporary Art Society since October 2013. Prior to the Contemporary Art Society, Douglas was Head of the Arts Council Collection from 2006.  In that time she secured notable gifts for the Collection including work by Wolfgang Tillmans, Gary Hume, Roger Hiorns, Grayson Perry, Anthony McCall, Martin Creed, David Batchelor, Bridget Riley and John Stezaker. Douglas also organised a number of exhibitions for the Arts Council across the UK including that of Roger Hiorns Seizure at Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2011-13.  Douglas has developed new partn erships for the Arts Council including those with the National Trust and Christie’s.  Prior to the Arts Council, Douglas was a curator at the British Council from 1994 to 2006 and holds an MA from the Courtauld.