Bruce Boucher is to take over as director of the Sir John Soane’s Museum in May. A US citizen, he taught art history at University College London for 24 years. Boucher later worked at the Art Institute of Chicago and since 2009 has been the director of the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia. Abraham Thomas, the previous Soane director, left last October, after less than two years in the post.
Boucher is a specialist in Italian art and architecture, from the Renaissance to Neo-Classical. His initial task in London will be to oversee completion of the £7m Opening up the Soane project, which is due to be finished in early autumn. This final phase will include a new exhibition space and the restoration of the ante room and the underground catacombs. The museum, in the house in Holborn occupied by the architect Soane until his death in 1837, attracted 117,000 visitors last year.