Bachelor, Oxford University, 1972. Master of Arts, Courtauld Institute, London, 1974. Doctor of Letters (honorary), University London.
Assistant keeper British Museum, United Kingdom, 1974-1990, keeper of coins and medals United Kingdom, 1990-1992. Director National Museum of Scotland, 1992—2001, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, since 2001. Founder, board directors Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network.
Honorary professor University Edinburgh. Council member Royal College Art, since 2001. Trustee National Trust, since 2005.
Fellow: Royal Society Edinburgh.
Married Ann Camilla Toulmin, September 25, 1983. Children: Sarah, Luke, Agnes, William.