Sunday, November 26, 2017

Closure of the Courtauld Gallery - more details

I was very surprised to learn last week
  • the bad news - The Courtauld Gallery is due to close
  • the good news - the closure is only for two years while the gallery undergoes a multi-million pound renovation / transformation project.
  • the good news - the art is going on tour!
Self Portrait with a Bandaged Ear (1889)
by Vincent Van Gogh
oil on canvas
Samuel Courtauld bequest / Courtauld Gallery
I wrote to the Gallery find out more and now want to share with you
  • what I was told by their PR people.  
  • THE FACTS as per the website
  • a VIDEO about the project and what will happen
  • Plus links to where you can find out - and see - more about what is going to happen.

Here's what I was told
The project was announced in May 2016 and it’s currently in the development phase, but please find below some information about the project and more information about the Courtauld’s plans will be available early next year.

Courtauld Connects is a multi-million pound transformation project which will see The Courtauld improve accessibility to its home at Somerset House and improve the experience for its visitors, staff and students. The Gallery is scheduled to go dark for two years from autumn 2018 while redevelopment work is underway. The Institute will remain open and a thriving centre for the study of art history, conservation and curating.

The project will allow The Courtauld to develop new approaches to the interpretation, presentation, exhibition, and care of collections. It will open up The Courtauld’s collections and expertise with the widest public within and beyond London through new learning facilities, strategic partnerships with institutions across the UK, the digitisation of photographic collections, and events that will make art historical research accessible such as RESFEST in March 2018.
My sketch of Monet's painting of Antibes in the Courtauld Gallery

Courtauld Transformation - The FACTS


It is the biggest development programme since The Courtauld Institute of Art moved to Somerset House in 1989. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, it will enable The Courtauld significantly to improve teaching and research facilities, enhance the Gallery and widen and extend our reach locally, nationally and internationally.
So the facts are:

The Montagne Saint-Victoire (c.1887) by Paul Cezanneoil on canvas
Samuel Courtauld Trust: Courtauld Gift 1932
So a major positive in the short term is the way in art from the absolutely fabulous Courtauld Collection will be seen by more people!

This is a video on YouTube of what was said about Courtauld Connects at a Friends Meeting. This explains what the project is about. The video lasts an hour - so a great viewing for a Sunday!

This explains who talks about what and when in terms of minutes of video
  • Welcome and Courtauld Connect Vision; Professor Deborah Swallow, Director the Courtauld – (6 min)
  • Architect’s Focus on The Gallery; Stephen Witherford, Witherford Watson Mann – (6-38 min)
  • Courtauld Connects beyond The Gallery; Dr Stephanie Hall, Project Director – (38-58 min)
  • Developing our Friends’ Benefits; Natalia Fenyoe, Head of Membership and Alumni Relations – (58-1.05 min)


Reference - other articles


There proposed change has had limited coverage in the press to date.  Here's what I can find:

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