Freda Matassa & Julia Toffolo

Freda Matassa & Julia Toffolo

Freda Matassa

Freda has run a successful art collections management business since 2006. Previously she was Head of Collections Management at Tate and Registrar at the Royal Academy of Arts as well as gaining experience in the USA. A recognised expert on cultural collections, she lectures internationally and is the author of Museum Collections Management, Facet Publishing, 2011 and Organizing Exhibitions, Facet Publishing, 2014.

She has worked with private and public collectors, organised exhibitions, advised on due diligence and immunity from seizure and is the UK Expert Representative on several European initiatives for art and culture. She was recently named one of the Top 50 Women to Watch in the Arts.

Freda gained a Masters degree in art history from the University of Glasgow, followed by a Diploma in Education and in Art Profession Law and Ethics. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Associate of the Collections Trust.

Projects have included:
Arts Council Norway – training programme on exhibitions and collections management for Norwegian museums, Trondheim, 2013
The Compton Verney House Trust, Warwickshire – advice on due diligence, immunity from seizure and exhibitions organisation, 2008–2012
Contemporary Art SocietyKey Issues for Collectors of Contemporary Art; LAPADA – Caring for your Collection; Art Basel – Practical Issues for Buyers of Contemporary Art; lectures, 2008
Society of Antiquaries, London – organiser and manager for the Making History exhibition tour to Salisbury, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Lincoln, 2010
Public Catalogue Foundation – cataloguer of all the paintings in public collections in Westminster; Oil Paintings in Public Ownership, The City of Westminster, Vols I-III, 2012–13; BBC Your Paintings website

Julia Toffolo

Former Deputy Director and Senior Registrar of the UK Government Art Collection, Julia Toffolo is an experienced art curator with over thirty years’ background in museums and galleries. She has extensive knowledge of museum collections management and curatorship. At the UK Government Art Collection she managed a collection of over 13,500 works of art in more than 400 buildings in London and around the world.

She created displays in high-level locations, including 10 Downing Street, Lancaster House and many British Embassies, using historical research to complement the historic architecture where relevant.

Julia read history at Newnham College, Cambridge and is a graduate of Christie’s Fine Arts Course. She has the Diploma of the Museums Association, Foundation and Advanced Certificates in Art Law (Institute of Art Law) and is an alumna of the University of East Anglia Museums Leadership Programme.

Before working at the UK Government Art Collection, Julia gained experience in management and research of diverse social history collections at the Museum of the Order of St. John and at Sainsbury’s Archives.

Art display projects have included:
UK Ambassador’s Residence, Vienna – new display of historic and contemporary works, 2006
UK Ambassador’s Residence, Moscow – complete rehang of an historically significant building with new displays recreating the late 19th century interiors, 2010
UK Ambassador’s Residence, Washington DC – ‘Print Hall’ of 118 prints inspired by 18th and early 19th century ‘print rooms’, incorporating contemporary art, 2012
Lancaster House, London – rehang of historic Picture Gallery with over 80 paintings, echoing the 19th century display of the famous Sutherland collection, 2012


Julia and Freda are both former Chairs of the UK Registrars’ Group, a professional organisation for managing the logistics of collections care. Together they founded European Registrars’ Conferences, organising the first Conference in London in 1998.