Meet our Curatorial Trainee

Eleanor Hutchison is currently an Art Fund curatorial trainee. After six months at the National Gallery, she’s just taken up a placement with us in Warwickshire.

The Northern European Gallery at Compton Verney © Compton Verney

After six months at the National Gallery in London, I have now moved to the Midlands and started working at Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park. I’m really enjoying getting to know the team here as well as exploring the towns and cities nearby, including Leamington Spa, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Birmingham, just to mention a few.

One of the main projects I’m now working on is the re-display of the Northern European collection. I’m thinking about how to display the works thematically and place them in the context in which they were made during the dramatic period of the German Reformation.

I want to present this information in a way that is accessible to all and have been working with Compton Verney’s learning team to get their insights into how different age groups engage with the art on show. I’m also working with curators to put together an exhibition celebrating the artist Lucas Cranach the Elder, whose paintings are a highlight of the collection.

In my final weeks in London, I continued to attend re-hangs and installations at the National Gallery. I found it particularly eye opening to see the lighting being adjusted for the one-room exhibition Murillo: The Self Portraits(open until 21 May 2018). Subtle adjustments to the brightness of the lights made the self-portrait busts of Murillo become three-dimensional, as if the artist himself had just stepped into the room.

Another experience I had was learning how to undertake provenance research. This was a fascinating task that added intriguing layers to the history of works and their ownership. I also gave some more 10-minute talks to members of the public on pictures from the gallery’s collection, and attended a variety of lectures and conferences at the National Gallery as well as other institutions in the UK.

A particular highlight of the last few weeks with the National Gallery was being able to go on a courier trip to Norwich Castle. Not only was it great to meet new colleagues, it was also fascinating to see the logistics involved in moving pictures in and out of host venues. Seeing how conservators check over a picture thoroughly to make sure it always stays in tip-top condition was a really valuable experience. After such a diverse and exciting six months in London, I’m really looking forward to seeing what experiences my time at Compton Verney will bring.

This article was originally published at artfund.org

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