Julia Peyton-Jones, became the director of the Serpentine Gallery in London in 1991. She studied painting at the Royal College of Art, London, and worked as a practicing artist in London and a lecturer in fine art at Edinburgh College of Art. She moved to the Hayward Gallery in 1988 as curator of exhibitions.
The Serpentine completed a £4 million renovation in 1998. Since then, visitor numbers have increased almost three-fold to 750,000 per year. She serves on numerous committees and panels including the Westminster Public Art Advisory Panel, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 1997. In 2003 she was made both an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and appointed an Officer of the British Empire (OBE).