Subject Specialist Network

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Subject Specialist Network: European paintings pre-1900

The National Gallery has set up the Subject Specialist Network: European Paintings pre-1900. The Advisory Committee for Research on European Paintings will oversee the development of this network.

The network provides the opportunity to exchange knowledge, experiences and new ideas about paintings, including ways of improving public engagement through display and interpretation.

Membership and objectives

The network is free to museum professionals around the UK. Its objectives are to:

  • Provide a stimulating and proactive network to support professionals working with European paintings pre-1900 in museums and art galleries around the UK
  • Encourage knowledge and understanding of these works of art
  • Facilitate future discussions and debate around research, interpretation, display and learning programmes in order to fully enable public engagement
  • Promote more in-depth research and interpretation of paintings in UK collections, building upon the work carried out by the National Inventory Research Project
  • Support the highest professional standards in the research, conservation, display and interpretation of European Paintings pre-1900
  • Champion the importance of European paintings pre-1900 within the museums sector

Network activities

Study days and visits

  1. Study day: Making Paintings Count, the National Gallery, 1 July 2010
    Read a report of the London study day
  2. Group visit to the National Gallery Scientific and Conservation Departments 18 January 2011
  3. Study day at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle, organised by the North East Museums Hub, 15 March 2011
    Read a report of the Newcastle study day
  4. Study day at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, 7 July 2011 
    Read a report of the Birmingham study day
  5. Study day took place on the subject of Dutch art at the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, 25 November 2011
    Read a report of the Cambridge study day
  6. Group visit to the National Gallery Framing Department, 1 February 2012
  7. Study day: Collections, collaborations and displays at National Museum Wales, Cardiff, 24 April 2012
    Read a report of the Cardiff study day
  8. Study day: New research in Glasgow museums collection, 3 July 2012
    Read a report of the Glasgow study day
  9. Study day: Titian’s Metamorphosis paintings as a source of inspiration, the National Gallery, 13 September 2012
    Read a report of the London study day
  10. Study day: Are Curators Academics? The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Thursday 21 March 2013
    Read a report of the Oxford study day
  11. Study day: Picturing the Saints, the National Gallery, 26 September 2013
    Read a report of the London study day
  12. Study day: The Wonder of Birds, Castle Museum, Norwich, 13 June 2014
    Read a report of the Norwich study day
  13. Study day: Rembrandt: The Late Works, the National Gallery, 19 November 2014
    Read a report of the London study day

Research bursary

A research bursary was awarded to Peter Black, curator at Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, in October 2010 to research an exhibition planned for Autumn 2012 on Rembrandt and the Passion.

For more information

Please contact – for the attention of Mary Hersov, National Programmes Manager.

Membership emailing list

The European-Paintings-Pre-1900 membership mailing list is managed by JISCmail (The National Academic Mailing list service).

Supported by

From April 2012 the Subject Specialist Network is generously supported by The Pilgrim Trust.

The network received funding support from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council for four activities to support the network from July 2010 – March 2011, and from Arts Council England from November 2011 to February 2012.


The Pilgrims Trust
Museums, Libraries and Archives Council
Arts Council England