Hayden was first appointed curator of historical collections at the South African National Gallery. With the latter’s amalgamation into Iziko Museums in 2001, his brief was extended to include the curatorship of the Michaelis Collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings at Cape Town’s Old Town House. His curatorial expertise covers wide areas of the Iziko Art Collections Department, which also features British art and major holdings of 19th- and 20th-century South African art. He has been supervising improvements to the Old Town House building and its facilities, as well as several conservation projects on the collection. Promoting the Old Master tradition in a time of demands for transformation in post-apartheid South Africa is not without its challenges. He works strategically with the Michaelis Collection to make it relevant to a new generation of South Africans.