Swallow to leave Courtauld

Deborah Swallow, who spearheaded the biggest development in the Courtauld Institute’s history, is to retire as its director after 18 years in the post.

Appointed as the Märit Rausing director in 2004 having been director of collections and keeper of the Asian department at the V&A, she has seen a significant expansion in the institute’s faculty, research and curricula making the Courtauld the largest centre for art history and conservation in the UK.

The £57m Courtauld Connects project at the institute’s Somerset House home saw the Courtauld Gallery reopen last November, and phase 1 of the programme will be completed this summer. The rest will be finished in 2025 hen its teaching and research activities all return from their temporary home in Kings Cross..

 “I have been challenged, inspired and energised by my Courtauld colleagues, by our students and alumni and by colleagues across the university” said Prof Swallow, and chairman Lord Browne said of her: “Leading The Courtauld through challenging times as well as prosperous ones, she spearheaded the most significant initiative in the institution’s history: Courtauld Connects. This major capital works project has already begun to transform our iconic home at Somerset House, and the associated programmatic initiatives are allowing wider audiences to engage with our scholarship and collections through tours and outreach activities. This monumental achievement is testament to Deborah’s unwavering belief in the power of art, its centrality to the human condition and the importance of preserving it for the future.

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