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Who We Are

Get to know The Fan Museum's small team of dedicated staff.

Mrs H E Alexander, MBE FRSA

Founder and Director, The Fan Museum

Hélène Alexander has for more than thirty years served as The Fan Museum’s Director. She was born in Alexandria, Egypt and educated at the Lycée Français d’Alexandrie. She holds a degree in History of Art from London University and has been associated with the Victoria and Albert Museum where she worked for 13 years as a volunteer prior to establishing The Fan Museum in partnership with her husband, Mr A V Alexander, CBE.

She has practical experience of work in the theatre, has taught history of art, lectured extensively and written numerous articles and books on the subject of fans – many of which can be purchased via the Museum’s online gift shop.

She has assembled one of the most comprehensive fan collections in the world, and it is this collection upon which The Fan Museum was founded. She has mounted numerous exhibitions of fans in many parts of the country and has lent from her collection to a number of prestigious exhibitions within the UK and abroad.

Mary Kitson, MA

Deputy Director, The Fan Museum

Mary has worked part-time for The Fan Museum since 2002. She currently deputizes for the Director in all matters across the Museum.

Following a ‘first’ career in administration, Mary retrained as an art historian – she has an MA in Renaissance Studies from Birkbeck, University of London – and was until recently a teacher of art history to adults. She now lectures freelance on fans of all periods and types, but with a special emphasis on the Grand Tour and the late 18th century.

Mary is the Hon. Membership Secretary of The Fan Circle International and a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Fan Makers.

Ross Chandler, BA (Hons)

General Manager, The Fan Museum

Ross joined The Fan Museum in 2021 after a varied career in theatre and financial administration, having initially trained as a performer/director at Rose Bruford College.

His main responsibilities centre on operations management across the Museum, particularly staff training and HR and overseeing adherence to The Fan Museum’s core policies. With the support of his team, he manages private hires and functions, programming, merchandise and bespoke fan commissions for organisations and individuals alike.

Outside of his Museum work, he continues to produce for theatre on a freelance basis. He is also a Freeman of The Worshipful Company of Fan Makers and a published poet.

(photo credit Michael O’Reilly)

Ailsa Hendry, MA

Curator, The Fan Museum

After completing her MA in Museum Studies at UCL Ailsa joined The Fan Museum in January 2022. In her role as Curator, Ailsa supports the Director in a number of curatorial tasks. These include carrying out conservation procedures, photographing the collection, and assisting with loans, digital projects and seasonal exhibitions. Ailsa has over three years of experience in this sector having worked in museums across the country.

Sophie Long, MA

Museum Assistant, The Fan Museum

Sophie joined The Fan Museum as a volunteer, working front of house, in 2021 before moving into the position of Freelance Museum Assistant in early 2022. From May 2022, she has been working full time in the Museum office and facilitates enquiries, events and private hire bookings and coordinating the merchandise shop, as well as her additional duties supporting the work of the Curatorial Team.

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Museum Admission Pricing

Adults: £5.00
Children (age 7-16): £3.00
Family ticket (up to 2 Adults and up to 3 Children, also 1 Adult and 4 Children): £10.00
Concessions: £3.00
  • Students (with vaild student card)
  • Senior citizens
  • English Heritage
  • Friends of The Horniman
  • Friends of The Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Staff/Volunteers of the National Maritime Museum
Free Entry for…

Children under 7, Disabled visitors and carers, Art Fund Members and London Pass Members

Wednesday Special:

Free entry for senior citizens.

Please note that the discounts listed above cannot be applied when visitors are part of a large group visit or guided tour group.  Please click here for further details.

Group Bookings

The Fan Museum’s opening times each week are Wednesday to Saturday 11h00-17h00, with last entries at 16h30 each day.

Our latest exhibition, ‘Boxed In, Fanned Out: Fans and their Boxes’, is open from 3rd November and will run into the New Year.

Tickets for Museum by Candlelight, our special Christmas late-opening experience, are now on sale. Book now to secure your place!


Opening times may vary in line with public holidays. We will attempt to keep our channels updated in this case.

Our Orangery is not open as a public tearoom.

Click here for details of how to hire the space.