A Gift of Watercolours by Frederick Walker


Walker: The Old Farm Garden. The Courtauld Gallery, London
Frederick Walker The Old Farm Garden, 1871.
© The Courtauld Gallery

Two watercolours by Frederick (Fred) Walker (1840-1875) recently donated by Diana Mallinson and her brothers are an important addition to the collection of Victorian works on paper held at The Courtauld. Walker was widely regarded as one of the most talented and original younger artists of his day.

Following his early death, Walker’s individual style was much admired by such notable artists as Vincent van Gogh and Edward Burne-Jones. John Ruskin, seeing The Old Farm Garden, one of The Courtauld’s newly acquired watercolours, on exhibition in 1876 declared: “No drawing in the room is more delicately completed than this unpretending subject, and the flower painting in it, for instantaneous grace and creative touch, cannot be rivalled; it is worth all the Dutch flower pieces in the world.”

New: LAte  Night Openings at the courtauld gallery


Musicians in the Gallery Thursday 19 November, until 21.00

After a very successful first Late Night Opening in October, join us in this month in the Gallery to explore the Auerbach exhibition and our world-famous collection in the evening.

Enjoy live music, gallery talks and exhibitions tours and sample delicious winter cocktails in The Courtauld Gallery Café. More

Frank Auerbach's London Building Site Paintings On display at the courtauld gallery



Visitor looking at Buildling Site paintings by Frank AuerbachThis morning The Courtauld opened its new exhibition Frank Auerbach: London Buildling Sites 1952-62 to the public.

The show explores the extraordinary group of paintings of post-war London building sites by Frank Auerbach (born 1931), one of Britain’s greatest living artists.

The exhibition reunites the complete series of building site paintings together with rarely seen oil sketches and a number of recently rediscovered sketchbook drawings. These works are among the most important contributions to post-war painting in Britain and can be seen at The Courtauld Gallery until 17 January 2010. Find out more

Last Chance to Book: Showcasing Art History Lecture Series


Showcasing Art History The new season of The Courtauld's popular evening lecture series Showcasing Art History begins on 6 October 2009. This autumn, the course will investigate another fundamental art-historical question: Telling Stories – Reading Images will look at the complex and fascinating relationships between Word and Image in Art from Antiquity to Modernism

Showcasing delivers cutting-edge art-historical thought in an accessible manner and combines high-quality learning with sociability in intimate surroundings.  Lectures take place every Tuesday from 7 until 8pm and are suitable for a general audience; no previous art-historical experience is required. Find out more

The Courtauld Annual Second-Hand Book Sale


Preparations for the Courtauld Book Sale
Book Sale organiser Jane Ferguson and volunteer Brad Letwin arranging books for The Courtauld Annual Book Sale
Thousands of brand new and gently used books will be on sale at The Courtauld from 29 September to 7 October. There are tremendous bargains and treasures to be found among the stacks, which are all generously donated by Courtauld alumni and supporters. There are a large collection of art history books as well as other works on all topics imaginable. Come early to get the best of the bunch!

Opening Times 29 Sept - 7 Oct:

Weekdays 10.00 - 17.00

Late Night Tuesday (29 Sept & 6 Oct): 10.00 – 20.00

Painting by renaissance master signorelli on loan to the courtauld gallery


Massacre of the Innocents by Luca Signorelli A painting of the Massacre of the Innocents by the major Renaissance master Luca Signorelli (around 1450 – 1523) has been placed on long-term loan to The Courtauld Gallery.

During his lifetime, Signorelli was recognised as one of the leading artists in central Italy. He was particularly praised for his skill in anatomical drawing and the expressive and dynamic effects which this enabled him to create in his compositions. These qualities can be seen in The Massacre of the Innocents, one of Signorelli’s last autograph pictures.


Visitors can enjoy this painting - which was made for the base (predella) of an altarpiece in 1521 - in Room 1 of The Courtauld Gallery, where Medieval and Renaissance works of art are on view. 

The Courtauld tops student satisfaction rankings

Courtauld graduates

Courtauld students are among the most satisfied with their courses of study in Britain according to two recent studies. In the 2009 UK National Student Survey (NSS), The Courtauld Institute of Art was ranked fourth in the country, with 93% of students satisfied with the teaching, the learning resources and the academic support they receive. More than 220,000 students – that is three-fifths of all final year students – at universities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and further education colleges in England took part in the survey.

The Courtauld also came top of The Times Higher Education Ranking, which aims to show which universities offer the best all-round student experience.

Professor Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing Director of The Courtauld Institute of Art, said: “We are delighted that we have achieved overwhelming recognition from those who matter the most – our students. The results confirm our high standards of excellence and our reputation for giving the students first-rate teaching and support. We will continue working hard to ensure that we provide the best educational experience for every student.”

Omega Workshops Exhibition NOw open

Design with confronted peacocks

The Courtauld Gallery's new exhibition Beyond Bloomsbury: Designs of the Omega Workshops 1913–19 has opened its doors to the public today.

The show explores a radical chapter in the history of 20th century British design. Established in 1913 by the painter and influential art critic Roger Fry, the Omega Workshops were an experimental design collective, whose members included Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and other artists of the famous Bloomsbury Group.

The exhibition unites The Courtauld’s uniquely important collection of Omega working drawings with the finest examples of the Workshops’ printed fabrics, Cubist-inspired rugs and splendidly painted textiles, as well as ceramics and furniture to explore the Omega Workshops’ radical approach to modern design.

The colourful and boldly patterned designs can be seen until 20 September. Find out more

New Virtual Courtauld Gallery

Screengrab of Virtual Courtauld Gallery

Today The Courtauld Gallery launched exciting new additions to its website: The new Virtual Courtauld Gallery gives 3D impressions of some of its most striking rooms. The Courtauld now reaches beyond the actual gallery visit and can be experienced by people from all over the world who can roam the Gallery spaces from their computer at home. Using a new photographic technique, this virtual tour offers exceptional close-up quality and zoom roam functions. The extremely high resolution allows web users to examine masterpieces such as Vincent van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear or Edouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère closely. Minute details such as individual brush strokes and the texture of the paint can be explored as they travel through the galleries.

In addition, The Courtauld website now offers an extensive number of Podcasts and Videos. Wide ranging in content, they offer insights into The Courtauld Gallery’s world-renowned collection and its most recent exhibitions. Acting both as an introduction and a supplement to the shows, these audio and video elements provide commentary from the curators and allow glimpses behind the scenes.

These new web elements allow people from all over the world to enjoy The Courtauld’s exceptional collection and provide additional insights before or after visiting the Gallery.

East Wing VIII
: Museums at Night

The Eastwing Collection at night
On Friday 22 May from 18.30 - 23.00 East Wing VIII: On Time will be celebrating Museums at Night with performances, installation works, live recitals and workshops by renowned artists that promise to appeal to all visitors. All events and workshops are free of charge.

Museums at Night is a European wide campaign that brings together museums, galleries and heritage sites with a range of special evening events.

Download East Wing VIII's Museum at Night Programme

Masterpiece of gothic sculpture on loan to the courtauld gallery

Sculpture of the Virgin and Christ Child
A life-size limestone sculpture of the Virgin and Child attributed to the major 14th century Flemish artist André Beauneveu has been loaned for three years to The Courtauld Gallery.  Beauneveu was one of the most gifted artists in France, and this monumental statue is an outstanding example of late Gothic sculpture and the only example of his work on public view in Britain.

Visitors can encounter the standing Virgin holding the Christ Child in Room 1 of The Courtauld Gallery, where Medieval and Renaissance works of art are on view. 

The Spring 2009 Newsletter now Online


Download the Newsletter [6MB]



EASTwing VIII receives Award

Courtauld students and staff receiving the Big Draw award East Wing VIII
was named a Runner Up for a prestigious Drawing Inspiration Award to mark their top Big Draw event in October 2008.  Sue Grayson Ford, Big Draw Campaign Director, comments: “The Courtauld Institute of Art: East Wing Collection VIII fully demonstrated the Big Draw’s aims of bringing people together, engaging them creatively and supporting active learning – all through drawing. I am amazed how organisers constantly expand the boundaries of drawing by bringing vast amounts of enthusiasm and imagination to their events.”

The Big Draw event at The Courtauld Institute of Art was experimental and very lively with free drop-in sessions designed to especially engage families and young children. 

Curated by students of The Courtauld Insitute of Art, East Wing VIII: On Time is a biennial contemporary art show featuring the work of up-and-coming artists alongside that of well-known established names such as Antony Gormley and Mark Wallinger. Find out more

The courtauld appoints lecturer in dress and textiles

Rebecca Arnold

The Courtauld Institute of Art is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Rebecca Arnold as Lecturer in Dress and Textiles, beginning September 2009.  The Courtauld is the UK’s leading institution for the study of the History of Art and the conservation of paintings, and has long occupied a prominent position in the field of the History of Dress.


Rebecca Arnold gained her PhD in History from University College, London, in 2006, having previously completed an MA in the History of Dress at The Courtauld.  She is currently Research Fellow at the Royal College of Art and Visiting Research Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In addition she acts as Project Leader of ‘Screen Search Fashion’ at the RCA and University of Brighton. Dr Arnold’s  first book,  Fashion, Desire and Anxiety: Image and Morality in the 20th Century was published in 2001 and has recently been followed by The American Look:  Fashion, Sportswear and the Image of Women in 1930s and 1940s New York (2009). Dr Arnold has also contributed numerous articles and essays on aspects of fashion to various magazines and journals and is co-curator of the exhibition Readymade: Fashion for Everyone in New York and London to be held at the Museum of London and the Bard Graduate Center, New York, in 2013.


Dr Arnold will succeed Professor Aileen Ribeiro, who is retiring in September after a long and distinguished career at The Courtauld.







Professor Patricia Lee Rubin, currently Deputy Director of The Courtauld Institute of Art and Head of its Research Forum, has been appointed as the new director of New York University’s renowned Institute of Fine Arts (IFA).  Founded in 1932, the same year that The Courtauld Institute of Art was established, IFA is a distinguished centre for research and graduate study for the history of art, archaeology, conservation, and museum curatorship. The Institute has conferred more than 1,600 degrees, and its alumni hold leadership roles as professors, curators, museum directors, archaeologists, conservators, critics, and institutional administrators throughout the USA and internationally.  Professor Rubin takes up her appointment on 1 September 2009.

Further information





Courtauld students in the library

The Courtauld Institute of Art, one of the world’s pre-eminent centres for the study of the history and conservation of art, has been awarded post-graduate funding for 44 PhDs and 60 MAs over the next five years through the new Block Grant Partnership Scheme of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).  The Courtauld Institute was one of only three institutions out of the 48 successful universities that were graded at the very highest level. 

For this new £199 million partnership scheme, the AHRC conducted an exhaustive peer review process followed by a three-day review session by a Moderating Panel of 18 members from across the UK’s arts and humanities research community.  The panel agreed that for The Courtauld  “overall, this was a very strong bid…. The allocations represent an excellent achievement reflecting the high quality of your proposal.”  

Only Research Organisations that have shown strong evidence of excellent strategic planning for, and delivery of, high quality postgraduate research and training in the arts and humanities have received Block Grant Partnerships. The Courtauld particularly excelled in its core subjects - the History of Art and Architecture and Conservation. Its newly established MA in Curating was also recognised.

Further information


Behind the scenes at the courtauld gallery

Sky Arts film crew in The Courtauld Gallery

The Courtauld Gallery is proud to have Sky Arts as media partner. We are working closely with the specialist arts TV channel in order to raise awareness of The Courtauld’s outstanding collection.

Sky Arts has produced a short programme on The Courtauld Gallery giving unique insights behind the scenes of a world-renowned art gallery. The film crew spent two days at the Gallery, meeting Ernst Vegelin, the Head of The Courtauld Gallery, our curators, conservators and students. Sky Arts were also given access to The Courtauld’s painting store, where they filmed Degas’s Two Dancers on Stage being carefully unwrapped and examined.

This film can be watched online
and will be broadcast regularly on Sky Arts 1, Sky Arts 2 and Sky Arts  HD until July 2009.


East wing viii anniversary

Art installation

To mark East Wing VIII’s anniversary and the importance of performance art on the London art scene, over 1,000 people came to The Courtauld Institute of Art last Friday to celebrate interactive art and music, artists combining sculpture, drawing, video, dance and performance. 

The Courtauld became a vibrant multi-media performance stage with a diverse range of artists showing how this collection has truly become part of the city’s cultural life.  Every single room, corridor and staircase was filled with different art forms - some that changed and developed throughout the evening in dynamic and inspiring ways, while others remained more traditional in their approaches.

East Wing Collection VIII: On Time is a biennial student-curated contemporary art show.


Wedding chest exhibition Now open
12/2/ 2009

Visitors looking at a wedding chest The Courtauld Gallery's new exhibition Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence: The Courtauld Wedding Chests is now open! A large number of guests - among them artist Phillip King - attended the Private View on 11 February to see the first exhibition in Britain that explores one of the most important and historically neglected art forms of Renaissance Florence: pairs of great chests, lavishly decorated with precious metals and elaborate paintings.

These chests, known as cassoni, were commissioned to celebrate marriage alliances between powerful Florentine families. The painted panels set into them tell fascinating tales from ancient Greece, Rome and Palestine, as well as from Florentine literature and more recent history.  

The magnificent chests and panels are on show until 17 May. More


Outstanding results for The courtauld institute of art


Courtauld students

  The Courtauld Institute of Art has achieved outstanding  

  results in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

  It came first in the power ranking in History of Art and second

  nationally in the quality index of all UK universities and



  The results show that The Courtauld Institute of Art is

  performing at the highest level: 80% of The Courtauld’s

  research activity has been classified as world-leading or

  internationally excellent and 20% as internationally 



Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing Director of The Courtauld Institute of Art, welcomed the results: “We are delighted with the outcome of RAE 2008 and extremely proud to have achieved these outstanding results. My warmest congratulations go to all our academics and support staff for all they have done to achieve this.” 


The RAE is a bench-marking operation to measure the quality of research being conducted by universities across the country and is an internationally-recognised barometer of quality.

Phillip King presents sculpture to the courtauld Gallery
4 /12/2008

Sculpture by Philip King
Phillip King Drift, conceived in 1961

Phillip King (b.1934), one of Britain’s foremost sculptors and former president of the Royal Academy of Arts, has presented to The Courtauld Gallery one of his seminal early sculptures: Drift, 1961.  Ernst Vegelin, Head of The Courtauld Gallery, said: “Since the founding of The Courtauld in 1932, we have relied almost entirely upon gifts and bequests of great generosity to build our extraordinary collection of works of art.  We are thrilled to receive Drift which will significantly enhance our modern British collections, an area which we are actively seeking to expand as we develop our 20th century holdings in the years ahead.”       

Drift is now on display in Room 14 in The Courtauld Gallery together with a newly displayed group of modern British paintings and sculptures. 

Courtauld Students Join the campaign to save the titians for the Nation
21/11/ 2008

Courtauld students re-creating Titian's Diana and Acteon
Diana and Acteon
© Tom Hunter 2008

In collaboration with the photographer Tom Hunter and the BBC Culture Show, Courtauld students re-imagined Titian’s Diana and Actaeon.  The creation of this new work of art is one of a series of events organised by Courtauld students to raise awareness for the National Gallery's and the National Galleries of Scotland's Campaign for the Titians.  

Five Courtauld students – playing the role of Diana’s ‘nymphs’ – joined the actress Kim Cattrall and performers from the burlesque group La Clique to re-interpret Titian’s painting.

This campaign aims to illustrate the significance of the Titian paintings today. Tom Hunter, who re-imagines Old Master paintings through a contemporary lens, was therefore the perfect partner in this endeavour. 

For further information about the paintings and the campaign, visit www.nationalgallery.org.uk/campaign-titians.htm


SKY ARTS - The Courtauld's NEW Media Partner
4/11/ 2008

Sky Arts film crew filming in The Courtauld Gallery
Sky Arts film crew filming the re-installation of Cézanne's Montagne Sainte-Victoire.
The Courtauld Gallery is proud to have Sky Arts as media partner. We will be working closely with the specialist arts TV channel in order to raise awareness of The Courtauld’s outstanding collection. Sky Arts has produced a short programme on The Courtauld Gallery which will be broadcast from November 2008 through to July 2009.

The film will first be shown on the following dates:

Sky Arts 1 and Sky Arts HD: 7 November at 20.50
Sky Arts 2: 10 November at 12.50

Please visit www.skyarts.co.uk for details.

Sky Arts logo

Picture this - Writers' Talks in the courtauld gallery



Vanessa Bell: Conservation

Ruth Padel, Writer in Residence at Somerset House, has invited six eminent writers to talk about their favourite paintings in The Courtauld Gallery between November 2008 and January 2009.

Each writer has chosen a painting from the Courtauld’s world famous collection and will give their personal responses in front of the work.

The six chosen writers are Philip Pullman, Hisham Matar, Baroness Neuberger DBE, Colm Tóibín, Jackie Kay and Dame Gillian Beer.

For more information and to book tickets click here.




The Big Draw



Big Draw East at the Wing Collection

As part of the Big Draw's focus day, The Courtauld's East Wing Collection held a fun-filled series of drop-in workshops on Saturday 11 October. With more than 200 visitors the day was a great success. 

Children and adults alike were excited by the range of art supplies available and were able to choose their media before joining one of the workshops or finding a quiet corner in which to sketch a work of art in the exhibition.

All those involved had a wonderful day which fulfilled the purpose of the Big Draw through celebrating creativity. 



Record visitor figures



Visitors in The Courtauld GalleryWhen the critically acclaimed exhibition The Courtauld Cézannes (26 June to 5 October 2008) closed yesterday evening, more than 84,000 visitors had seen the show. This makes it the best attended exhibition in the history of The Courtauld. Dr Ernst Vegelin, Head of The Courtauld Gallery, said: "I am thrilled by the success of this exhibition, the highlight of The Courtauld's 75th anniversary celebrations, and by the wonderful response from our visitors."



Annual Second-hand book sale

30/9 - 8/10/2008

Book Sale organiser Jane Ferguson
Book Sale organiser Jane Ferguson arranging books for The Courtauld Book Sale

It is time once again for The Courtauld's Annual Second-Hand Book Sale. For a week and a half, the Institute Foyer will be filled with treasures for book lovers and bargain hunters alike. Thousands of books have been donated, with treasures to be found for all budgets.

To accommodate more schedules, there will be “Late Nights” at the Book Sale this year. On Wednesday 1 October and Thursday 2 October the Book Sale will run until 20.00. All proceeds go directly back to The Courtauld in support of student travel grants and other projects.


Opening times:
Weekdays 10.00 - 17.00
1 & 2 October 10.00 - 20.00




Winner of CEzanne Competition

Dr Ernst Vegelin, Head of The Courtauld Gallery, and lucky winner Andrew Templeton

The winner of the Cézanne e-bulletin competition was presented with his prizes at The Courtauld Gallery. Andrew Templeton, a property investor who lives in London, was presented with a hamper of delicious items from PAUL Bakery and Patisserie, a catalogue of the current exhibition The Courtauld Cézannes and a pair of tickets to return to the Gallery at his leisure.

Although he describes his interest in art as that of a ‘keen amateur’, his interest in architecture extends beyond his profession, as Mr Templeton is actually an alumnus of The Courtauld.  He completed an MA with Dr Christine Stevenson in 2003 on 18th century British architecture, and particularly fondly remembers the course’s trips to Greenwich.  Mr Templeton often returns to The Courtauld for exhibitions and was a particular fan of the recent show on Walter Sickert. 


Professor George Zarnecki CBE FBA, 1915-2008


The Courtauld Institute of Art is sad to announce the death of Professor George Zarnecki CBE FBA, Deputy Director of the Courtauld from 1961 to 1974

George Zarnecki was born at Cracow in Poland in 1915. He studied art history at the University of Cracow, which was academically under the influence of the Vienna School, and taught there until 1939. He had an adventurous war, escaping to France where he served in the Polish division, and was awarded the Polish Cross of Honour and the French Croix de Guerre. He was a prisoner of war in Germany from 1940-1942, but escaped to Spain, only to be imprisoned there for another year. He subsequently made his way to Britain, where, on getting to London, he presented himself as a fellow art historian on the doorstep of the Courtauld at 20 Portman Square. He served the rest of the war in the British army. After the war he became a post-graduate student at the Courtauld, completing his ground-breaking thesis on ‘English Romanesque Sculpture in the Twelfth Century’, supervised by Fritz Saxl of the Warburg Institute in 1950. From 1949-1961 he was in charge of the Conway Library of photographs at the Courtauld, which in the course of numerous expeditions at home and abroad he did much to enlarge. Forming an academic alliance with fellow students of Romanesque art, Peter Lasko and Reg Dodwell, he helped to put the subject on a new scholarly foundation, through his teaching and a series of publications, notably Gislebertus, Sculptor of Autun (London 1961). From 1961-1974 he was Deputy Director of the Courtauld and played a major role in the running of the Institute alongside Director Anthony Blunt. A charismatic and immensely influential teacher, whose contribution to the international reputation of the Courtauld cannot be overestimated, his major exhibition, English Romanesque Art 1066-1200 (Arts Council 1984) brought this sumptuous chapter of English art history to the attention of a wider public, and after he retired in 1982, he returned to his long-postponed but never forgotten ambition to compile a complete corpus of English Romanesque sculpture. Many of his publications are collected in Studies in Romanesque Sculpture (1979) and Further Studies in Romanesque Sculpture (1992)


courtauld 75th anniversary Weekend a big success



Group of Alumni in the foyer of The Courtauld Institute of Art


The Courtauld capped off its year of 75th Anniversary celebrations with a three-day weekend of festivities from 4 to 6 July, tailored to Courtauld alumni, staff, students, and supporters.  With 41 distinct events, the weekend saw a wide range of activities catering to all interests.  Alumni reunions in nine galleries around London brought over 400 former students together on the Friday evening.


Guided Tour of the Conservation Department
Tour of the Conservation Studios

The following day, Somserset House played host to a wide range of talks and tours covering different facets of The Courtauld, from showcasing favourite current and former staff members to providing behind-the-scenes tours of Somerset House and the Conservation Studios. The day culminated in a glamorous ball in the south wing, where guests enjoyed three live bands and gorgeous views of the South Bank and the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Courtyard from the Portico Rooms.

On Sunday, a panel of alumni Museum and Gallery directors engaged in a lively debate about the state of exhibitions, chaired by Richard Cork. In the afternoon, there was an opportunity to return to Home House in Portman Square, the former site of The Courtauld Institute of Art, for tea and tours. Overall, it was an extraordinarily memorable weekend, and thanks go out to all those who contributed to and participated in making it a success!


Caro Gift to the courtauld Gallery


Sculpture by Sir Anthony Caro: Table Piece CLXXXV, 1974
Anthony Caro Table Piece CLXXXV, 1974

The Courtauld Gallery is delighted to announce an important gift to the collection by Britain’s foremost sculptor, Sir Anthony Caro: Table Piece CLXXXV, 1974. Ernst Vegelin, Head of The Courtauld Gallery, said, “We are extremely grateful to Anthony Caro for his generosity. This is the first major work by a living artist to enter the collection in over a generation. Developing the 20th century collections at the highest level of quality is a key objective for the Gallery and this work is a wonderful addition.”



HrH The Princess royal visits The Courtauld


HRH The Princess Royal with the Head of The Courtauld Gallery

HRH The Princess Royal and Dr Ernst Vegelin, Head of The Courtauld Gallery,
at the opening of the exhibition The Courtauld Cézannes; Photographer: Jessica Reftel Evans


The Courtauld Institute of Art was honoured by a visit from Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal for the opening of the exhibition The Courtauld Cézannes and also to mark The Courtauld’s 75th anniversary. Visiting in her capacity as Chancellor of the University of London, The Princess Royal was also shown round the Courtauld’s Conservation Department by Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing Director.

The Courtauld Institute of Art, founded in 1932, was the first academic centre for the study of art history in the United Kingdom and established art history as a serious academic discipline in this country.   As the culmination of the Institute’s 75th anniversary celebrations, The Courtauld Gallery is showing its entire collection of works by Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) together for the first time. 


Anne d'Harnoncourt (1943 – 2008)


Born in 1943 in Washington, Anne d’Harnoncourt was the only child of Rene d’Harnoncourt, the famous Director of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and his wife, the fashion designer Sara Carr. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1965 and received her master’s degree from the Courtauld Institute of Art in 1967. From 1969 she was an assistant curator of modern art at the Chicago Art Institute and was an expert on Marcel Duchamp. In 1982 Anne became the Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where her husband, Joseph Rishel, is senior curator. Her commitment to and love for the Museum were absolute and she led it with integrity and unfailing commitment to scholarship, and to fundamental values. She was a wonderful person, greatly loved by her staff, by colleagues worldwide, and indeed by all who knew her. The Courtauld is, and always will be, immensely proud that she was one of us.

Anne’s tragically early death is a huge loss to the whole art and museum community, but at this moment our heartfelt sympathies and profound condolences go particularly to Joseph Rishel and to all Anne’s colleagues in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Winner of E-Bulletin Competition


Picture of winner Henrietta and the Head of the Gallery
Dr Ernst Vegelin, Head of The Courtauld Gallery, and lucky winner Henrietta Roe

The winner of the Renoir e-bulletin competition was presented with her prizes at The Courtauld Gallery yesterday. Henrietta Roe from Haverstock Hill in London was delighted to receive free tickets, the catalogue of the current exhibition Renoir at the Theatre: Looking at ‘La Loge’ and a hamper filled with delicious French treats from PAUL Bakery and Patisserie. Miss Roe, a student at University College London, is a frequent visitor of art galleries and used to spend many lunchtime hours in the courtyard of Somerset House in the summer.

New Acquisition of IMPORTANT Turner Watercolour


Watercolour by J.W.M. Turner, Rome from San Pietro in Montorio

The Courtauld Gallery is delighted to announce the acquisition of the watercolour Rome

from San Pietro in Montorio by J.M.W. Turner. This important work will be a highlight of The Courtauld Gallery’s forthcoming exhibition Paths to Fame: Turner Watercolours from The Courtauld (30 October 2008 – 20 January 2009).


FORM: London art & design Fair

FORM logo

The Courtauld Institute of Art is proud to be partners with FORM:London, the unmissable modern and contemporary art and design event at London's Olympia from 28 February until 2 March.

The partnership will focus around a series of lunchtime talks on site at FORM, given by current students of The Courtauld. Comprising an important part of the Fair’s events programme, these talks will take as their starting point a contemporary art or design work on show at the Fair, selected by the Institute as an object of note and worthy of in-depth discussion.

The schedule of student-led talks is as follows:

Friday 29 February:
12.00 England & Co: Paule Vezelay, Composition,1933 (Speaker: Miruna Cuzman)
1.00 Gallery Birch: Christofrou, Animal Jaune, 1975 (Hannah Magor)

Saturday 1 March:
12.00 Getty Fashion Photography (Alice Odin)
1.00 Video: Form: Carlos Roque, Kambiu Olujimi (Lieke Wijna)

Sunday 2 March:
12.00 FORM Collection (Alyssa Hathaway)
1.00 Studio Job Design Studio (Elisabeth Sherman)

For more information about the fair, including location, opening times, and ticket prices, visit http://www.form-london.com.

Or collect a voucher 'to bring a friend to FORM for free' when you buy a Renoir exhibition catalogue from The Courtauld Gallery Shop between now and 2 March. 


Courtauld Alumnus Nigel Carrington appointed Rector of University of the Arts London

Nigel Carrington (Courtauld Postgraduate Diploma 2007) has been appointed as the new Rector of University of the Arts London. He will succeed Sir Michael Bichard who leaves the post in August 2008 after seven successful years.


Message from the Director: Philip Conisbee (1946-2008)

I write with great sadness to let you know that Philip Conisbee,  curator of European paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, passed away on January 16th 2008, at the age of 62, from complications arising from lung cancer.

Anthony Blunt and The Courtauld featured on BBC's Newsnight


Sir Adam Butler (1931 – 2008)


Distinguished Courtauld alumnus, Nicholas Penny, to head the National Gallery        

The Courtauld warmly congratulates Nicholas Penny, on his appointment as the new director of the National Gallery, succeeding Charles Saumarez Smith.

Nicholas, who took his MA in 1973 and PhD in 1975 at the Courtauld (University of London) after an undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge, has had a distinguished academic and curatorial career. He is currently Senior Curator of sculpture and decorative arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, a post he has held for the last five years.  Prior to that he was the Clore Curator of Renaissance painting at the National Gallery from 1990 to 2002 and keeper for the last four years.  Prior to this he was keeper of Western Art at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Nicholas started his professional career lecturing in art history at the University of Manchester, was Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford University from 1980-81, Senior Research Fellow at King’s College Cambridge from 1982-4 and Professorial Fellow at Balliol College from 1984-89. From 2000-2002 he was the Mellon Professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. He has published widely from scholarly catalogues to introductory texts for students.

His appointment has been greeted enthusiastically   “He brings a fine mixture of innovation, professionalism, and scholastic integrity and that, together with his close relationship with the Gallery makes him ideally qualified to lead them on to further and bigger success in the future” (James Purnell, Culture Secretary).




Rachel Morrison, who recently gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Conservation of Easel Paintings at The Courtauld, has won the coveted Student Conservator of the Year accolade for her cutting-edge work on the cleaning of unvarnished paintings.


Rachel, who also has a First in chemistry from Jesus College Oxford, investigated the use of citrate solutions, commonly used by paintings conservators for removing surface dirt from unvarnished oil paintings. Dirt layers can be difficult to remove safely, especially when there is no protective varnish. She carried out a series of experiments using high-tech equipment at the Netherlands Institute of Cultural Heritage in Amsterdam. To assess the effect of changing the pH of citrate solutions and identify potential risks of this type of treatment, she carried out carefully-planned cleaning tests on a 20th-century unvarnished painting.


Rachel developed a novel approach using Scanning Electron Microscopy to examine the paint surface at high magnifications, enabling her to study a painting surface before and after cleaning in great detail. Rachel’s findings on the changes caused by the tests showed how effective citrate solutions are at breaking up the oily, organic material, and also pinpointed the pH level beyond which changes occur. 


Rachel has produced original research relevant to all paintings conservators, particularly those dealing with vulnerable, unvarnished paint surfaces. Her findings have already influenced practice and teaching both at the Netherlands Institute and at The Courtauld.


The Awards judges described Rachel’s work as “an outstanding piece of rigorous scientific practice at the cutting edge, producing results that are of direct use in the conservation studio. Rachel is quite simply a star student.”


She shares a £10,000 prize with The Courtauld Institute of Art.


This award is one of the suite of Conservation Awards, supported by Sir Paul McCartney - the “Oscars” of the heritage conservation world with prizes totalling nearly £50,000. Short-listed for this Award were Julie Eklund of the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, who studied the effects of conservation treatments on DNA, and Sarah Maisey from Northumbria University for her research on a Durham miners’ banner from Bowburn.


For full details, see www.conservationawards.org.uk