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National Gallery and Art Fund foster new museum talent: Announcing the 2017–19 Curatorial Traineeships

Issued October 2017

The National Gallery and Art Fund are pleased to announce that Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park, Warwickshire are the latest organisations set to benefit from two new fully funded curatorial traineeships. These have been made possible through the National Gallery Curatorial Traineeship Programme supported by Art Fund with the assistance of the Vivmar Foundation.

The two trainees, Eleanor Hutchison and Kate O’Donoghue, have now begun six months of on-the-job training at the National Gallery, London, after which they will take up their regional postings in Spring, 2018.

Xanthe Brooke, Senior Curator of Continental European Fine Art at National Museums Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery said:

“Kate O’Donoghue will be doing important work to help inform the future redisplay and reinterpretation of our Baroque gallery. By the end of her traineeship she will also have contributed to the creation and promotion of ‘pop-up’ displays held within the permanent collection. We are sure Kate will bring a fresh eye to our galleries and that her digital and social media skills will help make the collection accessible to a broad audience.”

Professor Stephen Parissien, Director of Compton Verney said:

“We are delighted to be working in close partnership with the National Gallery. Our recent award of a National Gallery curatorial trainee will substantially enhance our capacity for collection research, interpretation, and exhibition curation. It also serves to strengthen what is already a fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship with one of the world’s leading cultural organisations.”

Launched in 2011, the Curatorial Traineeship Programme was jointly established by the National Gallery and Art Fund to address the need for object and collections-based expertise. This year, the programme invited applications from galleries and museums during early 2017. Following the selection of Walker Art Gallery and Compton Verney, a panel convened in July to select the curatorial trainees.

Previous trainees have been placed at Manchester Art Gallery, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, York Art Gallery, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, and Auckland Castle.

National Gallery Director, Dr Gabriele Finaldi, said:

“We have been very pleased to witness the success of the programme so far. It is most rewarding to cultivate emerging talent in our field, and see the new curators flourish as they learn and contribute. We look forward to working with Walker Art Gallery and Compton Verney as this year’s trainees take up their new posts.”

Stephen Deuchar, Director of Art Fund, said:

“This important scheme extends the National Gallery’s dialogue with museums around the country, and develops the talents of two curators in the making. I look forward to seeing to seeing the results of their work in Liverpool and Warwickshire and watching their careers unfold.”

 For further press information please contact:

April Swieconek for the National Gallery on 020 7747 5930 or at

Rachel Mapplebeck for Art Fund on 020 7225 4820 or at


The National Gallery’s curatorial traineeship programme, supported by Art Fund with the assistance of the Vivmar Foundation, was initiated in 2011. The programme provides practical curatorial training alongside collections-based and specialist research skills. The trainee’s time is allocated between the National Gallery and the partner museum during the 22-month appointment. After an initial training period of six months at the National Gallery, with trips to the partner organisation to discuss the project to be undertaken, the trainees move to their posts.

Compton Verney is an award-winning, national art gallery in Warwickshire, based in a Grade I-listed Georgian mansion and set in 120 acres of Grade II-listed Lancelot 'Capability' Brown parkland. It has six permanent collections (Naples, Northern European Art 1450-1650, British Portraits, Chinese, British Folk Art & The Marx-Lambert Collection) and a schedule of thought-provoking changing exhibitions. The Chinese collection is nationally designated. Compton Verney is an accredited museum and a registered charity, receiving no regular Government funding.

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool is home to renaissance masterpieces, Tudor portraits and one of the best collections of Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite art in the country. For 130 years it has housed Liverpool’s most outstanding art collection. Many of the gallery’s most important works have been on display in the city for nearly 200 years. 

The gallery also has an outstanding display of contemporary art including work by David Hockney, Lucian Freud, and Bridget Riley. 

About the National Gallery

The National Gallery houses one of the greatest collections of European paintings in the world, which is free to visit and open 361 days of the year. The Collection consists of over 2,300 paintings from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century.  All major traditions of Western European painting are represented, with artists including Titian, Monet, Velázquez, Rembrandt and Van Gogh. The Gallery is a world centre of excellence for the scientific study, art historical research and care of European paintings from the 13th to the early 20th century. More at

About Art Fund

Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. In the past five years Art Fund has given £34 million to help museums and galleries acquire works of art for their collections. Art Fund also helps museums share their collections with wider audiences by supporting a range of tours and exhibitions, including ARTIST ROOMS and the 2013-18 Aspire tour of Tate’s Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows by John Constable, and makes additional grants to support the training and professional development of curators.

Art Fund is independently funded, with the core of its income provided by 117,000 members who receive the National Art Pass and enjoy free entry to over 230 museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, as well as 50% off entry to major exhibition. In addition to grant-giving, Art Fund’s support for museums includes the annual Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year, a publications programme and a range of digital platforms. Find out more about Art Fund and the National Art Pass at