Tuesday, 4 December 2007

The Old Courtauld Mafia, Part One

The New Courtauld Mafia must know those who have come before. In a three part series, I'll try to compile the names of the most prominent Courtauld Alums in Museums, the Academy, and Everything Else (Practicing artists, critics, etc.)

Part One: The Museum

Historically, the alumni of the Courtauld Institute have dominated the museum world in the UK, as well as having a strong presence abroad. The term "Courtauld Mafia" was coined by the Chairman of the Board of the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1989 to refer to the people that ran every other museum in the country save his. (That has now been remedied.) This list will be far from complete and I'm lacking many degree levels and dates. If you have any more information or names, I will add them:

Betty Churcher, MA '77, Former Director, National Gallery of Australia
Sir Timothy Clifford, Former Director, National Galleries of Scotland
Anne d'Harnoncourt, MA, Director, Philadelphia Museum of Art
John Elderfield, Ph.D. '75, Chief Curator, MoMA
Gabriele Finaldi, BA, MA, Ph.D. Director, Museo Nacional del Prado
Christoph Grunenberg, MA, Ph.D. Director, Tate Liverpool
Mark Jones, MA, Director, Victoria & Albert Museum
Tim Knox, Director, Sir John Soane's Museum
Neil MacGregor, MA '75, Director, The British Museum
Nicholas Penny, Ph.D., Director, National Gallery, London
Sir Nicholas Serota, MA '70, Director, Tate Gallery
Michael Taylor, Ph. D. , Curator of Modern Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art

It's a pretty impressive list. From the number of current directors of UK museums with a Courtauld provenance, it would seem the Courtauld's skill at training museum leaders hasn't dwindled since the "mafia" was named in '89. The only current director of a major UK museum that has slipped through the Courtauld's fingers, as far as I can tell, is Stephen Deuchar at the Tate Britan, though he does list a University of London degree, I can't determine where from. The directors are easy to track with their official bios, but curators are harder. Any names come to mind?

1 comment:

Whitney said...

Lucy Peltz, MA, PhD, Curator, National Portrait Gallery, London