National Gallery

National Gallery and Art Fund select Southampton and Sheffield sites for curatorial partnerships

Image: 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

Having completed six months of curatorial tutelage at the National Gallery, two trainees will now be seconded to Southampton City Art Gallery and Museums Sheffield as part of a scheme supported by Art Fund and the Vivmar Foundation.

The Curatorial Traineeship Programme, launched jointly by the National Gallery and Art Fund in 2011, was conceived to address the need to maintain and develop collections expertise across the British museums sector – particularly in relation to historic European paintings.

Having finished their spells at the National Gallery, this year’s recruits, Jemma Craig and Corinna Henderson, will now head off to Southampton City Art Gallery and Museums Sheffield respectively.

Dr Gabriele Finaldi, director of the National Gallery, says the institution is once again “delighted to be able to make outstanding curatorial training more accessible to talented individuals with a passion for historic European paintings”.

The 2019-21 trainees

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, British Art Show 8, and Leonardo Da Vinci: A Life in Drawing.

Corinna Henderson 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.

Craig will work with Southampton City Art Gallery to research the city’s history and the emergence of the Gallery. This study will result in an exhibition aiming to bring fresh perspectives to key European paintings in the site’s collection.

Meanwhile, Henderson’s secondment to Museums Sheffield will see her researching the city’s collection of 18th- and 19th-century paintings, focusing in particular on the reinterpretation of conventional narratives. A series of interventions in the institution’s Graves Gallery and the launch of new digital outputs is the goal of this work.

Liz Waring, curator of visual art at Museums Sheffield, notes: “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.”

Trainees in previous years have been placed at locations including Manchester Art Gallery, Newcastle’s Laing Art Gallery, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, York Art Gallery, Hull’s Ferens Art Gallery, and Auckland Castle.