When I told my mother that the Gallery would be closing for two years, she said something to the effect of ‘Darling, you will be able to put your feet up for a while’. None of us anticipate doing much of that. In fact, the Gallery will be busier than ever, but, importantly, busy in different ways. The closure offers a rare opportunity to suspend the urgent pace of our regular cycle of activity and concentrate on other strategically important priorities. One example is our aim to push forward with the full online cataloguing of the collection. Closure also presents opportunities to bring The Courtauld to new audiences and to develop new relationships.
Our close existing relationship with the National Gallery, London is a mainstay of the closure period. The exhibition Courtauld Impressionists: From Manet to Cézanne (until 20 January 2019) opened to superlative reviews at Trafalgar Square just ten days after we shut our doors at Somerset House. This collaboration brings together a selection of paintings acquired by Samuel Courtauld for his private collection with works purchased by him for the nation through The Courtauld Fund. Following soon after the exhibition, from 27 March 2019 until 19 April 2020, The Courtauld will have a room in the National Gallery to present rotating displays from our collection. Additionally, some 25 works will be interspersed amongst the National Gallery’s collection displays, further helping to ensure that many key items remain on permanent public display.