Since forming in 1974, LAPADA, the Association of Art and Antiques Dealers, has become the largest professional association of its kind. Its excellent global reputation is based on its membership requirements, which strictly require member dealers to maintain an impeccable level of expertise and experience, as well as exceptionally high quality of products. This naturally begs the question: what requirements are there for LAPADA administrators?
Recently, LAPADA appointed Rupert Ponsonby as its new chairman. Ponsonby is the 7th Baron de Mauley. His most recent prior professional experience was as one of 90 hereditary peers in the British House of Lords, where he served as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Prior to that position he was an officer in the British Army Reserve.
Unquestionably, Ponsonby deserves respect: he was an architect of the National Pollinator Strategy, a key initiative to support the vital bee population. But it is unclear what special expertise or experience in art and antiques he brings to LAPADA. He replaces Peter Selwyn Gummer, the Baron Chadlington, who held the position for seven years. Gummer is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, but also once stepped down in disgrace from his former chairmanship of the Royal Opera House after reports the organisation was incompetently run.
Image caption: Lord de Mauley. Image via LAPADA's Twitter.