Lord Gowrie served in Edward Heath’s administrative between 1972 and 1974. In 1975 he became Opposition spokesman on Economic Affairs in the house of Lords and adviser to the new conservative leader, Margaret Thatcher. At this time he was Junior Partner in the firm of Thomas Gibson Fine Art, in 1979 he joined Margaret Thatcher’s administration and held a number of posts including Minister for the Arts. He left the Cabinet to become Chairman of Sotheby’s in London between 1985 and 1994, from 1994-1998 he was the first Chairman of the Arts Council of England.

Lord Gowrie was educated at Eton and Balliol College Oxford. He has taught at Harvard and University College London, and published three books of poetry. He lives in London and Wales and is married to the German journalist Adelheid von der Schulenburg.

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