Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Birmingham
Department of Art History, Film and Visual Studies
Birmingham Museums’ Trust

1 November 2012

Over the past 20 years there has been a dramatic decline in fine and decorative art curatorship in regional galleries in Britain. Recent surveys have highlighted that major regional collections of national standing have diminished specialist fine art curatorial departments. Collection care managers very often now take on the curatorial role and little research is carried out by in-house curators, beyond the major national museums in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff and the large University Museums such as the Ashmolean and Fitzwilliam.

Significant numbers of curatorial posts have been lost, and instead regional collections have looked to University research partnerships to fill the gap, often leaving the remaining curators to act mainly as mere facilitators. Academic research often needs editing and developing for public exhibition or display - a role scholarly curators previously carried out. Moreover, acquisitions of historic art have also been adversely affected by the lack of expertise.

With speakers including Susan Foister (National Gallery), Stephen Deuchar (The Art Fund), Colin Cruise (University of Aberystwyth), Ian Massey (University of Huddersfield), Ann Sumner (Birmingham Museums Trust), Christopher Riopelle (National Gallery) and Matthew Rampley (University of Birmingham), the workshop examines this situation, and considers the challenges and the opportunities it presents. What are the futures for museums and galleries outside of the capital cities of Britain?

The Workshop will take place at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts

For further details contact:
Sue Gilligan,
Deputy Director and Manager,
The Institute of Advanced Studies,
University of Birmingham  
+44 (0)121 414 5997

or see:

Full programme (PDF - 163KB)