John Murdoch joined the Courtauld from the V&A in 1993. During his time here he oversaw the arranging of a number of prominent exhibitions, on subjects as diverse as the introduction of Impressionism into Britain (1994-5), Chambers (1996-7), Roger Fry (1999-2000), and Art on the Line (2001-2), a reconstruction of the Royal Academy’s summer exhibitions at Somerset House, and was instrumental in bringing the new twentieth-century collections to the Courtauld this year. He also won a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant for the refurbishment of the galleries and the subsequent highly praised re-hanging of the collections, achievements closely related to the raising of funding for the redecoration of the fine rooms, especially the ceilings. He made a number of additions to the collections, including the Ingres drawing ‘Study for la Grande Odalisque’, the John Russell pastel ‘Portrait of one of the Porters of the Royal Academy’, and various examples of William Chambers’s designs, such as the Gower House Table and the Charlemont Cabinet. In encouraging greater access he won funding from the Designated Challenge Fund for our successful education programmes, especially for those for schools. He placed great importance on the interaction between the academic work of the Courtauld and its gallery, among other things creating and teaching an MA course in the history and character of museums.

He takes up the post of Director of Art Collections at the Huntington Library in southern California. We wish him well in his new position and offer him our many thanks for all he contributed to the Courtauld.


PROFESSOR ERIC FERNIE