Hartwig Fischer took up the post of Director of the British Museum in Spring 2016. He gained his PhD in Art History at the University of Bonn in 1993 after studying in Berlin, Rome and Paris. He began his career in museums as a Research Assistant and then Curator of 19th Century and Modern Art at the Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland before becoming Director of the Folkwang Museum, Essen in 2006. During his time as Director of the Folkwang Museum, he oversaw a major building project with the acclaimed architect David Chipperfield, as well as several blockbuster exhibitions and many key acquisitions.

In 2012 Hartwig Fischer was appointed Director General of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden (State Art Collections, Dresden), with responsibility for 14 museums and associated libraries, archives and research centres. As Director General of one of the foremost museums of the world, he led on the development of significant international exhibitions and research projects across the world as well as in Germany; he has also overseen several major building projects and renovations to the State Art Collection’s estate in Dresden. 

Hartwig Fischer is married and is fluent in German, English, Italian and French.