Predicting the public response to an exhibition is an imprecise business. Whilst being optimistic that a focused exhibition on Sickert might be well-attended we were not prepared for the record-breaking performance of Walter Sickert: The Camden Town Nudes. Stimulated in part by truly exceptional coverage in the national press, just under 50,000 visitors came through our doors during the 13 weeks of the exhibition. This made Sickert, by some distance, the best attended exhibition in our current series of focused shows, and indeed, one of the most successful exhibitions organised by The Courtauld at Somerset House. The exhibition once again provided evidence that smaller focused shows can enjoy strong public interest. We are very grateful to the Friends of The Courtauld for their invaluable support as lead sponsors of the exhibition. The success of Sickert contributed to the sustained momentum of rising attendance at the Gallery over the last three years: attendance in 2007 was 32% higher than in 2004.

Dr Ernst Vegelin van Claerbergen, Head of The Courtauld Gallery