Gordon Rintoul. Photo: National Museum Directors’ Council.

National Museums Scotland Director Gordon Rintoul to Step Down

Gordon Rintoul has announced that he will resign as director of the National Museums Scotland in March 2020 after eighteen years in the role. During his tenure, he was responsible for leading the National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight, the National Museum of Rural Life, and the National War Museum.

Rintoul’s departure follows the completion of a fifteen-year, $97 million overhaul of the National Museum of Scotland, which added twenty-nine galleries, new public gathering spaces, and more rooms for educational initiatives. In addition, it opened up areas of the institution that were not previously accessible. The museums also saw a significant increase in visitors from 1.2 million in 2002 to 3.2 million in 2018, a record for the institutions.

“Under Gordon’s tenure National Museums Scotland has grown in stature and profile, becoming one of the leading museum groups in Europe, if not the world,” Bruce Minto, chair of the board of trustees of the National Museums Scotland, said. “The transformation of the National Museum of Scotland is, undoubtedly, his flagship achievement; an enormous undertaking which could not have been realized without his vision, talent, and determination. The board of trustees and I are very proud to have supported him and to be able to share in his tremendous success.”

Rintoul added: “None of these achievements would have been possible without the extensive and committed work of our talented and dedicated staff and volunteers, and our committed supporters whether as donors, advisers or simply through encouraging our work. I am deeply indebted to them all for standing alongside me on this hugely enjoyable journey.”

Prior to joining the National Museums Scotland in 2002, Rintoul, a Glasgow native, served as the chief executive of Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust. In 2012, Rintoul was awarded a CBE for Services to Museums, and in 2018, he was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.