Has worked in culture and heritage throughout his professional career.Prior to joining the Trust in July 2020, he was Director of V&A Dundee, an international museum in Scotland with a mission to enrich people’s lives through the understanding of the designed world, its heritage and its vital role in our future. He was the founding director, appointed in 2011 to lead the development and establishment of all aspects of this cultural institution from early planning, capital development and opening.
V&A Dundee is the first design museum in Scotland and the first V&A in the world outside London. It opened in 2018 to the approved budget of £80.11m with all capital funding secured and long-term public revenue support agreed. In January 2019 the museum was formally opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Five hundred days from opening, V&A Dundee welcomed its one millionth visitor. Contained within the museum is the first ever permanent display devoted to Scotland’s exceptional history of design, including an original Mackintosh tea-room interior, dating from 1907, newly conserved and restored especially for the museum.
Under Philip Long’s leadership the museum received international critical recognition – including by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 greatest places of 2019 – and delivered exceptional impact. In its first year, it had contributed value of £75m (GVA) and had supported 2,143 (FTE) jobs across Scotland, compared to pre-opening estimates of £23m (GVA) and 604 jobs.
Before V&A Dundee, Philip was Senior Curator at the National Galleries of Scotland. His academic specialisation was developed during this time, in historic and contemporary Scottish and wider British art and design, on which he has curated many exhibitions and written widely. For the National Galleries of Scotland, he worked closely on the development of Artist Rooms, an outstanding collection of international art, shared with museums and galleries across the UK, of £130m in value and acquired in partnership with Tate through the support of the UK and Scottish Governments and Art Fund.
Philip’s international work has included the curation of Scotland’s presentation at the Venice Biennale (2007), responsibility for the UK presentation at the Milan Design Triennale (2016) and advising museums and government agencies on the development of new cultural and heritage organisations.
He is an Honorary Professor of the University of Dundee, an Honorary Research Fellow of St Andrews University, a member of the British Council’s Arts and Creative Economy Committee, and a Board member of Creative Scotland. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and in 2019 was the recipient of a unique award for Transforming Scotland from the Institute of Directors.
Philip received an OBE in the New Year’s Honour List in 2020 for services to Culture and Heritage.