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Professor Brian Allen, who took over the role from Sir Nicholas Goodison last year and who has served on the committee of the Art Fund since 1998, is director of studies at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and Adjunct Professor of History of Art at Yale University. His decision comes as he has found it increasingly difficult to balance these demanding roles with the chairmanship of the Art Fund. He has now decided that he should hand over the chairmanship to someone who has sufficient time to devote to it.

Professor Allen will continue to serve as chairman until his successor has been appointed. It is hoped that an announcement will be made in the autumn.