Rita McLean is an independent consultant working in the museums and heritage sector. She was formerly Director of Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery (BMAG) from 2004 to 2012 and prior to this worked in a number of roles in this organisation. Her initial post with BMAG was to oversee the programme of restoration and refurbishment works to Soho House, 18th century home of the industrialist and entrepreneur, Mathew Boulton – enabling its opening to the public as a museum in 1995. Subsequent roles encompassed overseeing a range of other development and interpretation projects for BMAG’s historic buildings.
She has retained an interest in Matthew Boulton, his circle and the wider 18thcentury context, and was a contributor to Matthew Boulton: Selling what all the world desires, published in 1997 as part of the bicentenary programme commemorating Boulton’s death. Other research interests include British black history and in 2002 she was co-editor and a contributor to Making Connections: Birmingham Black International History and a co-editor of Equiano: Enslavement, Resistance and Abolition in 2007. She chairs Birmingham Civic Society’s Heritage Committee, is a Governor of Compton Verney House Trust and a member of the National Trust’s Midlands Advisory Board.