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Most recently, she has been a film producer for independent production companies, making high-end history and science films for Discovery Channel, BBC and Channel 5, with responsibility for large budgets and travelling extensively on location from Poland to Ecuador.

Before her career in television, Miss Harvey worked at Phillips from 1994-98, becoming head of pictures at Bayswater. (Former chief executive Malcolm Hord had also worked for Phillips before joining the association.) She then moved to Sotheby’s Bond Street, where she stayed until 2000, as joint head of the regular auctions department for paintings. She is credited with increasing turnover in 19th century picture sales there by 50 per cent in one year.

With a BA Hons History of Art and Psychology from Oxford Brookes University and a Royal Society of Art diploma in Fine and Decorative Arts from Christie’s Education, London, Miss Harvey is an acknowledged expert in Victorian and 19th century continental pictures.

“Sarah comes to us with a real enthusiasm for the arts and a marvellous track record in management and we are sure will be the dynamic director LAPADA requires to steer the association in the best interests of its members,” said Lord Howe, chairman of LAPADA. “The Board of Directors look forward to welcoming her at the end of March.”