Tessa Murdoch was educated at the University of London and has worked as a museum curator since 1981. This has included roles at the Museum of London and the Victoria and Albert Museum, where she worked in the Furniture Department and (from 2002) as Deputy Keeper in Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass. She was lead curator for the V&A Sacred Silver and Stained Glass Galleries (2005) and the V&A Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries (2009).
She has examined and taught post-graduates in the USA, UK and Ireland.
Tessa is a board member of the Idlewild Trust and the Huguenot Museum. She has served on the Curatorial and Interpretation Advisory Committee of the National Trust since 2016.
She has published widely on historic house collections, clocks, furniture, jewellery, sculpture and silver and served as Expert Adviser on Furniture and Silver to the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art.