Newsletter Archive: Spring 2003
New Displays at the Courtauld
A Media Triumph
Robert Delaunay:Les Coureurs (grand version) 1924-5, (detail) Fridart Foundation
From the International Herald Tribune, the Daily
Telegraph, The Times and The Guardian, to the Leicester
Mercury, Metro and Country Life, press coverage
of Into the 20th Century: New Displays at the Courtauld has been
widespread and enthusiastic, with an expansive list of publications championing
the Courtauld and its new loans.
"Imagine a museum mapping the route that took Western painting from the world of figuration to the conceptual dreams of abstraction: . . . a dazzling pageant of masterpieces from the permanent collection of Impressionist art left by Samuel Courtauld, supplemented by long-term loans from private collections in Britain tell the story with a clarity that no one had yet achieved" wrote Souren Melikian in the International Herald Tribune, while Richard Cork, writing on Kandinsky in The Times, added, "His [Kandinskys] work is magnificently represented at the Courtauld, with paintings that move from the palette-knife directness of Rapallo: Grey Day to the ecstatic freedom of On the Theme of the Last Judgement . . . . The importance of these paintings, along with impressive early work by Braque, Dufy, Larionov, Leger, Marquet, Van Dongen and Vlaminck, can hardly be overstated and they dovetail perfectly with the existing Courtauld collection."
Other sources enthused on the range of loans: ". . . wonderful, thrilling paintings" wrote Philip Hensher in the Mail on Sunday, and proceeded to add "the dazzling loan . . . is an extraordinary thing to happen to any gallery . . . . It transforms not only the Courtauld, but the whole look of art in London." The International Herald Tribune praised the "beautifully simple and effective" hang, with the RA Magazine adding "a substantial rehang has integrated the magnificent newcomers, and added more breadth and depth to the Courtaulds famous collection."
Media coverage extended as far afield as Italy, Sweden and the USA. The New Displays were warmly reviewed on BBC Radio Fours Front Row and currently feature on a wide range of websites, including www.theartnewspaper.com and www.absolutearts.com. Finally, Kim Howells, Minister for Culture, visited on 8th January 2003, and was full of well-informed praise and enthusiasm for the displays, as was William Packer, who wrote in the Financial Times ". . . the gallery of the Courtauld Institute at Somerset House is second to none."
FIONA MOORHEAD — Head of Public Affairs & Events, Courtauld Institute Gallery