We are pleased to introduce Madeleine Armstrong who joins our blossoming team to take over the day to day management of our charming London Gallery in Cecil Court.
21 April 2022
Madeleine Armstrong | Gallery Manager, Sworders London
Growing up in Armagh in Northern Ireland, the world of art and art history could easily have seemed far removed for Maddie. However, with an excellent teacher at school in Dublin, she discovered a passion for learning and writing about art. She studied Art History and English at University College Dublin, with her dissertation focusing on how socio-political changes influenced the tastes in collecting in Ireland between times of Empire and the Celtic Revival, as represented in the National Museum.
She went on to undertake a Masters at The Courtauld Institute, specialising in Byzantine art and the art of its rivals. Through her fascination with decorative objects, she has immersed herself in the auction world, moving from South Dublin Auction to Sotheby’s in Dublin. She is looking forward to bringing the skills and experience she has gained in both her academic and occupational career so far to her role at Sworders.
Let's get to know her...
What part of the new role are you most excited about?
I am so pleased to be a part of the team at Sworders and I look forward to working in tandem with everyone to make the most of our wonderful gallery in Cecil Court, and to further create a bustling space of exhibitions, auction previews, talks and more (hopefully with a glass of wine or two!).
What do like to do in your spare time?
I’m a horsey gal at heart, but sadly they didn’t fit in my suitcase over from Ireland. I paint, I read and disappear down information fixation rabbit holes such as why are cashew nuts so expensive?, where in Italy did the mafia families of New York originate? and how does dry cleaning actually work?.
Home dining or eating out?
Nothing could ever beat a plate of the mammy’s lasagne, but I do love a good restaurant. I look forward to discovering the culinary delights London has to offer.
Which museum/gallery, anywhere in the world, would you recommend visiting?
There are so many large institutions brimming with buckets of great and golden age art, especially here in London. However, somewhere that left a huge impression on me was a small church in Naples called the Pio Monte Della Misericordia, where Caravaggio's ‘The Seven Works of Mercy’ reside. As a budding art historian, you rarely see any of the works you learn about in the flesh, let alone in their original context, so I nearly fell over when I saw my first Caravaggio there, quietly illuminated by a few cracks of daylight and candles.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
It may not be interesting, but it is certainly a fact that, like almost everyone during lockdown, I nearly started a podcast (about History of Art), but the restrictions lifted and I came to my senses.
In my early teens I thought I was destined for the stage. During the cabaret night of a music theatre camp in Northern Ireland, I chose to sing ‘Oh What A Beautiful Morning’ from Oklahoma; A brazen choice as one of the West End cast members was there as a coach. Halfway through I was suddenly struck by crippling stage fright and forgot the words, whereupon he stood up, held my hand, and powered through the rest of the song with me.
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4 December 2023
It is with great pleasure that we announce that Emma Barnett has been appointed as Head of Department with responsibility for the future development of our Homes and Interiors sales – Emma has been with Sworders for some time, but as she now moves into this pivotal role, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce her to you.
30 November 2023