The Autumn and Winter 2011/12 Samuel Courtauld Society events programme offered members exclusive art events at The Courtauld Institute of Art, in London, the UK and further afield.

Click on any of the links above to see the current programme.


Jeff Wall photo entitled The Thinker
The Thinker - 1986 - Transparency in lightbox - 221 x 229 cm © Jeff Wall - courtesy of the artist

Samuel Courtauld Society Visit: Photography in Brussels


For: Associates, Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle

Join Samuel Courtauld Society members in Brussels for a fascinating exploration of three highly acclaimed photography exhibitions, led by Courtauld Professor Julian Stallabrass, Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art and the History of Photography.

Starting at 6pm on Saturday 10 September, the group will receive a tour of the Marc Riboud retrospective at the stunning Young Gallery in central Brussels. Riboud was a highly regarded contemporary of Henri Cartier-Bresson and this retrospective clearly shows his ability to capture fleeting moments in life through powerful compositions. After the tour, the group will dine at a specially chosen central restaurant.

On Sunday 11 September, we are delighted to have been granted early-morning access to see Jeff Wall: The Crooked Path at Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, before it opens to the public.  We will have the privilege of receiving a tour of the exhibition from Courtauld Professor Julian Stallabrass, who has published on Jeff Wall. 

Jeff Wall is one of the most successful practicing artists to have studied at The Courtauld, working under the legendary John Golding in the 1970s.  Today his large photographic compositions, beautifully illuminated in his signature light boxes, are view as iconic images in the contemporary art world.

The show will present a fascinating exhibition of Wall’s photographs along with those of historical and other contemporary artists.  Since the end of the 1970s, Wall has been striving to give photography a privileged position within the fine arts, drawing regularly on paintings for inspiration to give his compositions an iconographic dimension and proving his deep understanding of art history.  For this original exhibition, Wall has selected 25 of his photographs, produced between the 1970s and the present day, which he presents next to a careful selection of works by artists who have nurtured his thinking over the last 40 years, revealing the artist’s rich creative process.  Works rarely available to the public from North American and European collections will be on display, by artists including Duchamp, Arbus, Gursky, Struth, and Stella.

Following on, Professor Stallabrass will continue the tour in the Bozar’s exhibition Beyond the Document: Contemporary Belgian Photographers.

If there is interest within the group, we will afterwards head to the nearby Magritte Museum for a tour.

A lunch will be arranged for the group and the visit will come to a close after this.

Guests pay for meals and are kindly asked to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements (although we can offer advice and suggestions). There is a suggested donation of £60 per person to cover gallery charges and some administration costs.

For information on Professor Julian Stallabrass

For information on the Marc Riboud Retrospective

For information on the Jeff Wall exhibition

For information on the Magritte Museum

Please email Kate Knight to register your interest and to hear more about the plans.

Jane Avril by Toulouse Lautrec at The Courtauld Gallery

early morning View: Toulouse-Lautrec and Jane Avril: Beyond the Moulin Rouge

8.30 – 10AM

The Courtauld Gallery

For: Associates, Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle

If you have not yet seen this critically acclaimed exhibition - or even if you have - then do not miss this exclusive talk by Dr Caroline Campbell, Schroder Foundation Curator of Paintings, and a last chance opportunity to see this wonderful exhibition. There will be a light breakfast served in the Courtauld Gallery Café beforehand.

Image of The Lightbox at night.

Art Collection Visit: The Lightbox with collector Chris Ingram


10.00AM – 12PM

The Lightbox, Woking

For: Associates, Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle

The Lightbox is an award-winning gallery and museum situated alongside the Basingstoke Canal in Woking – only 20 minutes by train from London Waterloo. A small group of members and Courtauld alumni are being offered a unique opportunity to have an insider’s look at the gallery.  The morning will start with a talk by businessman and collector Chris Ingram, who will discuss his collection on display ‘The Ingram Collection’ which contains a wealth of sculpture and painting from some of the foremost artists of the 20th century. Guests will then have the opportunity to take a private tour of The Lightbox and British Pop Art Exhibition by The Director, Marilyn Scott. A lunch will follow this fascinating visit.  

For a profile on Chris Ingram and his significant collection please click here.

Zanobi Strozzi, The Annunciation, about 1440-5 © The National Gallery
Zanobi Strozzi, The Annunciation, about 1440-5 © The National Gallery

Courtauld Expert Tour: Devotion by Design: Italian Altarpieces Before 1500


9 – 10AM

National Gallery

For: Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle

This exquisite exhibition, curated by Courtauld Lecturer and alumnus Dr Scott Nethersole (BA 1999, MA 2000) whose post is part funded by memberships this year, explores the function, the original location, and the development of altarpieces in Italy during the late Middle Ages and the early Renaissance.

We are pleased to offer Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle members a private early morning event to see this show at the National Gallery in London with Dr Nethersole. There will be refreshments afterwards in the National Dining Rooms. 

Samuel Courtauld Society Visit: Liverpool

Architectural Walking Tour and Director’s Tour of the Magritte Exhibition


12 – 5.30PM

For: Associates, Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle

We are delighted to invite members on a special art and architecture day trip to Liverpool - a city celebrated for its rich cultural heritage, world-famous galleries and impressive architecture.

Over lunch the group will learn about the history of the city and its architecture from Courtauld alumnus Christopher Griffith (MA 2000). Afterwards, Christopher will lead a fascinating walking tour of the historic commercial centre, taking in some wonderful architectural highlights, such as the Town Hall, Martin's Bank, the Port of Liverpool Building, the Bluecoat Chambers, St George's Hall and County Sessions House.

The final destination on the walking tour will be Tate Liverpool, where at 4pm Tate Liverpool’s Director and Courtauld alumnus, Dr Christoph Grunenberg (MA 1988, PhD 1994), will lead a special tour of the highly acclaimed exhibition: René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle, the biggest exhibition of the Belgian surrealist’s work in England for twenty years.

Renowned for witty images depicting everyday objects such as apples, bowler hats and pipes in unusual settings, Magritte’s art plays with the idea of reality and illusion. Tate Liverpool’s exhibition will reveal the inspiration behind the artist’s celebrated style, focusing on the less explored aspects of Magritte’s life and artistic practice.

Dr Christoph Grunenberg has been Director of Tate Liverpool for ten years and in this time he has made a critical contribution to the cultural regeneration of Liverpool. We are thrilled that he will be leading this special tour for our group just two weeks before it closes to the public.

The visit will finish at 5.30pm, which leaves members enough time to get the train back to London, or others may like to make a weekend of it and explore the many other arts attractions of the city.


Courtauld Expert Tour: Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe  


8.45 – 10AM

The British Museum

For: Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle

This major exhibition brings together for the first time some of the finest sacred treasures of the medieval age. It features over 150 objects drawn from more than 40 institutions including the Vatican, European church treasuries, museums from the USA and Europe and the British Museum’s own pre-eminent collection.

Courtauld alumni and academics, including Anna Harnden (MA 2009) and Holger Klein (MA 1994),  have been instrumental in curating this glorious exhibition and we are thrilled that they and other members of the curatorial team will be giving a small group of members and alumni a private tour before opening hours. Refreshments will be served in the Court Restaurant afterwards.

Courtauld Annual Book Sale


10.00AM – 5.00PM

Late openings (until 8.30 pm) 4, 5 and 11 October

The Courtauld Institute of Art Foyer

Open to all


The annual Courtauld book sale is back!  Thousands of books on all aspects of art history and many other subjects will be available to purchase at dramatically reduced prices.  All proceeds go to student travel grants.

The Courtauld relies on generous donations of books to make this a success.  New or used books on any subject can be brought to the Courtauld from 15 August between 9.30 am and 5.30 pm weekdays (no auction catalogues, please).

Goya drawing for Courtauld exhibtion

Champagne Preview: The Spanish Line: Drawings from Ribera to Picasso


5.30 – 6.30PM

The Courtauld Gallery

For: Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle


The exhibition presents highlights from The Courtauld Gallery's collection of Spanish drawings, one of the most important in Britain. Comprising some 120 works, the collection ranges from the 16th to the 20th centuries and features examples by many of Spain’s greatest artists, including Ribera, Murillo, Goya and Picasso.

This is the first substantial exhibition on the tradition of Spanish drawings to take place in London and it captures the excitement and importance of this rapidly developing field of study.

Please join Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle members for a champagne reception and private tour of this exhibition with Dr Stephanie Buck, Curator of Drawings and this exhibition.

Private View: The Spanish Line: Drawings from Ribera to Picasso


6.30 – 8PM

The Courtauld Gallery

For: Associates, Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle

The Chairman of the Board of Governors, Nicholas Ferguson, and Marït Rausing Director of The Courtauld, Professor Deborah Swallow, invite all Samuel Courtauld Society members to the Private View of this special exhibition. 

Frieze Art Fair logo

VIP Passes: Frieze Art Fair

Frieze VIP passes offer unparalleled access to the London art world and to some of the most exciting exhibitions of the year, including an exclusive opening day on Wednesday 12 October.

Please note, the number of passes is limited and priority will be given to Director’s Circle members and then Patrons’ Circle members. Please email Kate Knight to request your pass (admits two) by August 8 at the latest.

Mystery door!

Private Art Collection Visit

6.30 – 8.00PM
For: Director’s Circle

One of the benefits of being a Director's Circle member is receiving invitations to visit private art collections. This visit will unveil a staggering collection of over 1500 pieces from Greek and Bronze Age art to paintings by well know 19th and 20th-century painters.


David Rickard Exhaust #4, 2011

Artist’s Studio Visit: David Rickard


6.30 – 8.30PM

David Rickard Studio, Shoreditch

For: Associates, Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle

Join a small group of members and Courtauld alumni for a unique opportunity to get inside the working environment of experimental contemporary artist David Rickard.  On this occasion, Rickard will show guests around his studio and engage in conversation with alumnus Will Lunn, co-owner of Sumarria Lunn Gallery, about his ideas and practice.  Over drinks, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions of both Rickard as a contemporary artist and Lunn as the owner of an emerging gallery space. 

For information about David Rickard click here.

Courtauld Expert Tour: Turner Prize at BALTIC


1 – 6PM

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, NE8 3BA


Samuel Courtauld Society members and alumni are invited on a curatorial tour of the Turner Prize at the stunning BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art just outside Newcastle.

At 5pm, alumnus Laurence Sillars, in his new role as Chief Curator of BALTIC, will give us an inside look at the work of this year’s nominees: Karla Black, Martin Boyce, Hilary Lloyd, and George Shaw. 

The tour will be followed by an opportunity to gather for drinks in the stunning sixth-floor bar at the top of the BALTIC.

A lunch will be organised for members on the day, and the main collections and venue are well worth exploring before the tour at 5pm.

Guests may decide to stay in Newcastle for the evening or there is the option of heading back to London on a late afternoon train.


The Spanish Line

Director’s Breakfast: The Spanish Line: Drawings from Ribera to Picasso



The Courtauld Gallery

For: Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle


Enjoy a delightful breakfast against the backdrop of iconic Impressionist paintings at The Courtauld Gallery. This is followed by an exclusive viewing of The Spanish Line: Drawings from Ribera to Picasso

hosted by Professor Deborah Swallow with an introductory talk by Dr Stephanie Buck, Curator of Drawings and this exhibition.

Palermo Sicily

Norman Sicily: Palermo and Environs with Professor Deborah Swallow
For: Associates (with a supplement), Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle

Professor Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing Director of The Courtauld, invites you to join her for 5 days exploring the great wonders of Palermo and the surrounding region, accompanied by Norman and Byzantine expert Dr Antony Eastmond from The Courtauld, and James McDonaugh, a Courtauld alumnus who lectures on Sicily. Members will also visit private Palazzos and receive exclusive access to the art and architecture of the region.

John William Waterhouse,Sainte Cécile,© Christie's Images / Bridgeman Art Library
Samuel Courtauld Society visit: Paris


For: Associates, Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle

After the successful visit to Paris with members in June, and with Paris less than two and a half hours away, we will be returning to the vibrant French capital in November for more exclusive art events and access.

On Tuesday members are invited to a special event at Paris Tableau, the first international art fair dedicated to Old Master paintings, featuring artists such as Brueghel the Elder and Canaletto. The next day members will enjoy an early morning Private View of Beauty, Morals and Voluptuousness at the Musée D’Orsay, and a viewing of Matisse, Cézanne, Picasso…The Stein Family at the Grand Palais, both major shows in Paris this year. The group will also enjoy the VIP opening event of Paris Photo, the renowned International Photography show, which presents the very best of 19th-century, modern and contemporary photography from 30 galleries. Our passes have been generously organized by Courtauld alumnus James Hyman, and we will meet him at his gallery, along with artist Anna Fox, whom James represents.

Cost , travel,  accommodation and booking

There is a fee of £110 per person which includes all tours, entries to galleries and fairs.
Please note that this does not include travel to and from Paris, accommodation or meals.

We recommend using Eurostar for easy travel from London to Paris. The sooner you book the cheaper the tickets.

For accommodation staying in the Louvre, Champs-Elysées or Orsay areas would be convenient for the galleries and shows we will visit.

Please phone (020 7848 2194) or email Kate Knight to book or to discuss your booking.

For more detailed information of this Samuel Courtauld Society autumnal Paris trip

For information about Matisse, Cézanne, Picasso… The Stein Family at the Grand Palais

For information about Paris Photo

For information about Beauty, Morals and Voluptuousness

Caption: John William Waterhouse (1849-1917)Sainte Cécile [Saint Cecilia]1895Huile sur toileH. Collection particulière, c/o Christie's© Christie's Images / Bridgeman Art Library

Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), The Lacemaker (c.1669-70). Musée du Louvre, Paris © Réunion des Musées Nationaux/ Gérard Blot

Private Tour: Vermeer's Women: Secrets and Silence


12 – 3PM (Curator’s tour from 12.30-1.30pm)  

The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

For: Associates, Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle

The astonishing intimacy of interior scenes by Johannes Vermeer and his seventeenth-century contemporaries will be explored in this landmark exhibition at The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. At the heart of this visually stunning exhibition is Vermeer's extraordinary painting The Lacemaker (c.1669-70) - one of the Musée du Louvre’s most famous works, rarely seen outside Paris and now on loan to the UK for the first time. The painting will be joined by a choice selection of other key works by Vermeer representing the pinnacle of his mature career, and over thirty other masterpieces of genre painting from the Dutch 'Golden Age'.

This exclusive event takes place when the museum is closed to the public and it will be a very special opportunity to see this exhibition without the crowds. The visit will start with tea and coffee before our small group of Patrons’ and Director’s Circle and alumni receive a curator led tour of the show. A lunch in Cambridge for members will follow the tour.  



Courtauld Expert Tour: Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement


8.30 – 10AM

Royal Academy of Arts

For: Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle

In the autumn of 2011 the Royal Academy of Arts will stage a landmark exhibition focusing on Edgar Degas’s preoccupation with movement as an artist of the dance.  Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement will trace the development of the artist’s ballet imagery throughout his career, from the documentary mode of the early 1870s to the sensuous expressiveness of his final years.

Patrons' Circle and Director's Circle members have the unique opportunity to join the exhibition’s curator and fellow Courtauld graduate Ann Dumas for an insightful tour of the show before it opens to the public. Refreshments will be available after the tour.

Private Breakfast View: Old Masters Sale at Sotheby’s


8.30 – 10AM


For: Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle

Enjoy a delicious breakfast followed by a private viewing of Sotheby’s landmark Old Masters sale with a highlight tour by Courtauld experts.

This sale will offer paintings by European artists from the 14th to the early 19th centuries. In the past, Old Master Paintings sales have included paintings by many of the most celebrated artists in Western art from all the major schools of painting, including Mantegna, Titian and Canaletto; Poussin and Fragonard; Cranach; Rubens and Van Dyck; Rembrandt, Hals and Vermeer; Velazquez and Goya; and Reynolds, Constable and Turner.

Westminster Abbey West Facade

Courtauld Expert Tour: Westminster Abbey with Professor Paul Crossley


9.30 – 11.30AM

For: Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle

Back by popular demand, Emeritus Professor Paul Crossley reprises last year’s wonderful tour of Westminster Abbey, and also explores new areas. Highlights will include the Cosmati pavement, a tour of the chapels of Henry VII and Edward the Confessor. Simply not to be missed!

january 2012

Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci
Detail from Nicolas I Larmessin,.Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. From J. Bolland, Académie des Arts et des Sciences
© akg-images 

Courtauld Expert Tour: Leonardo Da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan


9 – 10AM

National Gallery

For: Patrons’ Circle and Director’s Circle

Courtauld Lecturer and alumnus, Dr Scott Nethersole (BA 1999, MA 2000), and Per Rumberg (MA 2007, PhD Candidate and former Friends Scholar), Pidem Curatorial Assistant at The National Gallery, are contributing curators to major upcoming exhibition Leonardo Da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan. This show at the National Gallery concentrates on the work Leonardo produced as court painter to Duke Lodovico Sforza in Milan in the late 1480s and 1490s.

We are delighted that Scott and Per will be leading a private tour of what promises to be one of the greatest shows this year.

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