The Courtauld Institute of Art opened its doors to its first students on 6 October 1932. The Courtauld therefore launched its 75th anniversary on 6 October 2007, and continues to celebrate throughout this academic year.

Dr Deborah Swallow
Dr Deborah Swallow

Our celebrations for the 75th anniversary have featured an intensive programme of academic activities, exhibitions and gallery projects, fundraising and cultivation events. This spring, in our academic programme under the rubric ‘Writing Art History’, we held three panel discussions, entitled Courtauld Generations, chaired by Christopher Green, Joanna Woodall and Barnaby Wright. Alumni from 1960-2007 gave fascinating insights into our unwritten history, drew large audiences and aroused lively discussion. In addition, in our programme of exhibitions – the autumn’s highly acclaimed Walter Sickert and the Camden Town Nudes was followed by the equally fascinating Renoir at the Theatre: Looking at La Loge. The student-curated exhibition: On Time: The East Wing Collection VIII, opened with a splendid fanfare in late January. And then, we had the unique opportunity to host the Thomson Medieval Ivories, before they returned to the Art Gallery of Ontario. During this time we have been gratified by enthusiastic press and media coverage.

75th anniversary activity will peak in June and July. The exhibition The Courtauld Cézannes will open on 26 June, as will the exhibition mounted by students on the MA programme Curating the Art Museum. On 27 June the exhibition From Manet to Matisse: French Prints from The Courtauld will open at the Artsdepot in Finchley. Our Turner watercolours will travel to the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere and be exhibited from 16 July. In early July there will be a two day conference Modernism and Art History: Papers in Honour of Christopher Green, who retires at the end of the year. Our celebratory anniversary weekend will begin on Friday 4 July with receptions in galleries throughout London for alumni. The weekend will continue with gatherings, discussions, tours and debates, with the highlight a major party at Somerset House on Saturday 5 July.

Sir Adam Butler
We were deeply saddened by the death on Wednesday 9 January of Sir Adam Butler, former Chairman of the Samuel Courtauld Trust. Sir Adam, through his mother, was the grandson of our founder Samuel Courtauld and his involvement with The Courtauld went back to the 1960s. Throughout his long stewardship Adam brought to the Trust his great experience of both public and private sector service. He had an abiding love of the works of art under his care, and a sure grasp of his role in protecting them. He will be greatly missed.

New Members of the Governing Board

The Courtauld is overseen and supported by a strikingly committed Board, to whom we will always be greatly indebted. This year we warmly welcome to the Board and to The Courtauld community Professor Geoffrey Crossick, Warden of Goldsmiths and former Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and Dr Martin Halusa, Chief Executive of Apax Partners.

Honorary Fellows
We are delighted to announce the appointment of two recent members of the Board, Lord Rothschild and Neil MacGregor, as Honorary Fellows of The Courtauld. Without Lord Rothschild we would have been unable able to achieve either our independent self-governing status, or our financial stability during the past critical five years. Neil MacGregor, like Jacob Rothschild, has been a power of strength on our Governing Board and on the Samuel Courtauld Trust – an invaluable supporter, generous colleague and wise counsellor.

Jane Ferguson
It is with great sadness that we say farewell to Jane Ferguson as editor of this newsletter. Jane had the vision to see what The Courtauld should be doing long before most UK universities were active in the alumni field. In 1990 she co-founded the Courtauld Association of Former Students with the late Professor Michael Kitson. She was a driving force behind it until 2000. She has served as editor of the newsletter for ten years, giving unstintingly of her time and enthusiasm and acting both as an energizer and catalyst. She has raised funds for critical purposes, such as this newsletter, but also for student support, not least through another invention of hers, that special Courtauld institution – the annual Book Sale.

We are deeply grateful to her for all that she has done in all these roles. But I am glad to say that the Book Sale will continue and that she will remain very much among us, a powerful and generous force for good at The Courtauld.

Dr Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing Director