National Gallery and Art Fund foster new museum talent

13 May 2020

2019-21 Curatorial Traineeships supported by Art Fund with the assistance of the Vivmar Foundation

Corinna Henderson and Jemma Craig in front of Artemisia Gentileschi’s Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, acquired with assistance from Art Fund, at the National Gallery in 2019 © The National Gallery, London

The National Gallery and Art Fund are pleased to announce Southampton City Art Gallery and Museums Sheffield as their partners for two fully funded curatorial traineeships, supported by Art Fund with the assistance of the Vivmar Foundation.

Two new trainees, Jemma Craig and Corinna Henderson, have now finished six months of on-the-job curatorial training at the National Gallery, London, and are currently working from home on secondment for the partner organisations.

Jemma Craig is working with Southampton City Art Gallery, building on its longstanding relationship with the National Gallery. She is researching the history of Southampton and the emergence of the City Art Gallery. Her placement will result in an exhibition that will bring fresh perspectives to key European paintings in the Southampton collection.

Jemma Craig has a BA in English from the University of Westminster, and MA in 20th- and 21st- century Literature from the University of Southampton. She has a keen interest in historic European paintings, and over the last four years has worked as a museum and gallery attendant, assisting with exhibitions research and installation at Southampton City Art Gallery including exhibitions such as George Shaw: My Back to Nature (which originated at the National Gallery), British Art Show 8, and Leonardo Da Vinci: A Life in Drawing.

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Homes and Culture, Southampton City Council, says: ‘We are thrilled to be part of this fantastic national programme and even more delighted that Jemma, as a local resident was successful in securing one of only two trainee positions. We appreciate that this is a difficult time for everyone and it is important that people have access to the essentials and take care of their physical and mental health. For many, culture plays a valuable role in this and their daily lives. Jemma is going to be very much part of helping us to shape our long-term approach for the benefit of local, national and international audiences, and to bring us together in new and imaginative ways.’

Corinna Henderson is seconded to Museums Sheffield to research the city’s collection of 18th- and 19th-century paintings, focusing on the reinterpretation of conventional narratives. Her work will result in a series of interventions in the Graves Gallery, accompanied by digital outputs including new film content.

Corinna has a BA in History of Art and Film from Manchester Metropolitan University and is currently studying for her MA History of Art part-time at Birkbeck, University of London. She has gained experience in a number of museums and galleries and earlier this year was awarded a Venice Biennale Research Fellowship from the British Council in partnership with Birkbeck.

Liz Waring, Curator of Visual Art at Museums Sheffield, says: ‘We are delighted to be working with the National Gallery and grateful to Art Fund and the Vivmar Foundation for their generous support. This traineeship provides a fantastic opportunity to enhance our current work around exploring fresh perspectives on Sheffield’s collections and offering new insights for our audiences today.’

Launched in 2011, the Curatorial Traineeship Programme was jointly established by the National Gallery and Art Fund as an important curatorial training programme for the UK museums sector. It plays a key role in addressing the need to maintain and develop collections expertise, in particular in relation to historic European paintings. 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.

Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery says: “We are grateful to Art Fund and the Vivmar Foundation for their continued support and very pleased with the success of the Curatorial Traineeship Programme, with all previous trainees well established in curatorial roles. The National Gallery is delighted to be able to make outstanding curatorial training more accessible to talented individuals with a passion for historic European paintings. We look forward to working with Southampton City Art Gallery and Museums Sheffield on supporting our new trainees in developing their expertise and showcasing highlights from our partners’ collections.”

Jenny Waldman, Director of Art Fund, says: “We are delighted to continue our long-standing partnership with the National Gallery, supporting their continuing collaboration with museums and galleries across the UK and developing the expertise of two talented young curators. I look forward to seeing Jemma and Corinna’s contributions to Southampton City Art Gallery and Museums Sheffield when their doors reopen.”    

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