Organised by the A. G. Leventis Gallery in association with The Courtauld Institute of Art, this half-day symposium will provide a platform for the exchange of ideas on the distinct challenges posed by the display of private collections as they make the transition from ‘private’ to ‘public’.


As a prelude to the opening of the A. G. Leventis Gallery in March 2014, this symposium will discuss new perspectives and museological developments, as well as address some of the pertinent issues faced by private museums around the world.  Professor Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing Director of The Courtauld Institute of Art, commented: “As an institution whose founders wished their collections to be accessible to scholars and the wider public, we are delighted to co-host this event, which precedes the opening of the A. G. Leventis Gallery”.


The symposium will bring together speakers from different fields and backgrounds focusing mostly, but not exclusively, on academia and the museum world.  Following introductory speeches by Mr. A. P. Leventis, Chairman of the A. G. Leventis Foundation, Professor Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing Director of The Courtauld Institute of Art, and Mrs Loukia Loizou Hadjigavriel, Director of the A. G. Leventis Gallery, a distinguished group of speakers will give short presentations.


Speaking from the viewpoint of great institutions, Colin B. Bailey, Director, Fine Arts Museums, San Francisco, will be giving a paper relating to his work as Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator at The Frick Collection and Alastair Laing, former Curator of Pictures and Sculptures, the National Trust, will offer insights on legacies and acquisitions by the National Trust.  


Focusing on private collections, and display in particular, Anne Distel, Conservateur général honoraire du patrimoine, Musée d'Orsay, will talk on ‘Collecting the Impressionists’, while Wim van der Weiden, Chairman, European Museum Academy, will present a comparative discussion of four case studies from The Netherlands.


Other speakers include Paul Joannides, University of Cambridge, who will be concentrating on new discoveries in the transition from private to public through the case study of a work by the studio of Titian in the A. G. Leventis Paris Collection while, focusing on the artist’s perspective, Giles Waterfield, Associate Scholar at The Courtauld Institute of Art and Director of Royal Collection Studies, will be looking at the preserved artist’s studio museum as a private collection.


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