Press Release: Contemporary Art Society appoints fellows to research impact of philanthropy on public art collections across England

29 May 2013 By

29 May 2013

The Contemporary Art Society is pleased to announce the details of three fellows who will curate a series of displays at the Whitechapel Gallery from September 2013, supported by a touring exhibition, related talks, and a publication of essays. The project is managed collaboratively by the Contemporary Art Society and Whitechapel Gallery and is generously funded by Arts Council England.

All three fellows will undertake their research from June to September 2013 whilst based in a museum in England. With access to the Contemporary Art Society’s network of 65 member museums as well as guidance from the Contemporary Art Society and Whitechapel Gallery’s expert teams, each fellow will use the founding principle of many of these institutions – philanthropic giving – as a springboard to explore the role of philanthropy in developing public collections in the UK.

The three successful curatorial fellows are:

1. Curatorial Fellow (East Coast): HELEN KAPLINSKY, hosted by Ferens Art Gallery, Hull
Display: 10 December 2013 – 9 March 2014
Tour: Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, March – June 2014
**Will explore the role of art schools as sites of making and production, recognising their particular relationships to past industries.

2. Curatorial Fellow (Midlands): INGRID SWENSON, hosted by Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Display: 20 March – 1 June 2014
Tour: Wolverhampton Art Gallery, June – August 2014
**Will explore the positioning of particular works of art and the debates and discourses that have surrounded their perceived and actual value.

3. Curatorial Fellow (South): GAIA TEDONE, hosted by Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
Display: 12 June – 6 September 2014
Tour: Towner, Eastbourne, September – December 2014
**Will explore the role of individuals in creating visions for particular collections.

Sophia Bardsley, Deputy Director of the Contemporary Art Society, said: “We are delighted to have appointed three such talented and ambitious curatorial fellows to work on this exciting collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery, which will investigate the impact of private collecting and philanthropy on regional collections across the UK. The fellows will undoubtedly benefit from being able to draw upon our network of 65 member museums to inform their research, many of which have rich and historic collections built up over hundreds of years.”
For all press enquiries, please contact:
Jenny Prytherch, Communications Manager, Contemporary Art Society
+44 (0)20 7017 8412


Notes to Editors:


The Contemporary Art Society is a national charity that encourages an appreciation and understanding of contemporary art in the UK. With the help of our members and supporters we raise funds to purchase works by new artists which we give to museums and public galleries where they are enjoyed by a national audience; we broker significant and rare works of art by important artists of the twentieth century for public collections through our networks of patrons and private collectors; we establish relationships to commission artworks and promote contemporary art in public spaces; and we devise programmes of displays, artist talks and educational events. Since 1910 we have donated over 8,000 works to museums and public galleries – from Bacon, Freud, Hepworth and Moore in their day through to the influential artists of our own times – championing new talent, supporting curators, and encouraging philanthropy and collecting in the UK.


East Coast Fellow: Helen Kaplinksy, hosted by Ferens Art Gallery, Hull
Helen Kaplinsky is a London based independent curator and writer. She has worked with the Arts Council Collection since 2011, having been awarded an opportunity to curate the collection whilst studying Curating MFA at Goldsmiths University from 2009-11. Upcoming projects include a residency with Flux Factory (NYC), and Image as Witness (London). Recent exhibitions include Thrall’dom (LIMAZULU) and Auto Couture(both London). She lectures in Art and Design history at City Literacy Institute and has undertaken residencies at Treignac Projet (FR), Sichuan Fine Art Institute and 501 Artspace (CN) and Islington Mill (UK).

Midlands Fellow: Ingrid Swenson, hosted by Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Ingrid Swenson has been Director of PEER (formerly The Pier Trust) since 1998, during which time she has curated over 50 acclaimed gallery and public realm projects with a wide range of artists including Martin Creed, Mike Nelson, John Smith and Karin Ruggaber. Prior to PEER she worked in a wide range of museums, galleries and arts organisations including the ICA (as exhibitions coordinator from 1988 to 2004). She has taught on many BA and MA fine art and curating courses, including Sotheby’s Institute, RCA, Central St. Martins, City University, Chelsea School of Art, Byam Shaw, Kent Institute and Norwich School of Art. She has published her writing on art and its wider social and cultural impact in a number of periodicals and catalogues. She has an MA in Art History from University of Sussex (1984). She has been a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts since 2002, a member of the International Association of Art Critics since 2001 and on the Executive Board since 2009. She was a Trustee of Milton Keynes Gallery from 2000-2003, and a Trustee of Cubitt Artists from 1996 to 2007, for whom she was also Chair from 2003-05.

South Fellow: Gaia Tedone, hosted by Brighton Art Gallery & Museum
Gaia Tedone is a curator based in London. She holds an MFA in Curating at Goldsmiths College, London and was a curatorial fellow of the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York. She recently worked at Tate Modern, assisting on acquisitions and displays for the Collection of Photography and International Art, and was previously an Assistant Curator for the David Roberts Art Foundation in London (2008-10). Past curatorial projects include: Shifting Gazes (Guest Projects, London, 2013; with Christine Takengny); Is Seeing Believing?(, TRUTH, 2011); Foreclosed. Between Crisis and Possibility (The Kitchen, New York, 2011; with ISP fellows Jennifer Burris, Sofía Olascoaga, Sadia Shirazi); Nervous System (James Taylor Gallery, London, 2009); Every Story is a Travel Story (Candid Arts Trust, London. 2008). As co-founder of the curatorial collective IM Projects, she was one of the editors of the book, A Fine Red Line: A Curatorial Miscellany(2008).


Display 1Nothing Beautiful Unless Useful (17 September – 1 December 2013)
Curatorial Fellow (North West): ANNA COLIN, hosted by Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston
Tour: Victoria Gallery & Museum, Liverpool, March – June 2014

The first display at the Whitechapel Gallery opens on 17 September 2013 and is conceived and researched by curatorial fellow Anna Colin. Colin’s fellowship is funded by a previous grant from ACE in September 2012. The exhibition takes its title from the architect Charles Barry who used it as a motto during the competition to design Manchester Art Gallery, which he built in 1824. The display will include photographs, paintings, woodcuts, ceramics and glass that reference local industries from the cotton trade and ceramics to shipping and mining upon which local philanthropists built their wealth and subsequent bequests. It will bring together artworks by Walter Crane, Emily Ford, Eric Gill, Jacob Kramer, Edward Wadsworth and photographers from the social research organisation Mass Observation amongst others, all of whom were responding to both the industrial and natural landscape of the North West and the momentous social change taking place in the first half of the 20th century.

Whitechapel Gallery Visitor Information:
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm, Thursday 11am – 9pm. Admission free.Whitechapel Gallery, 77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX
Nearest London Underground Station: Aldgate East, Liverpool Street, Tower Gateway DLR.
+ 44 (0) 20 7522 7888


David Hockney WED 5 JUNE — FRI 16 AUGUST
[PREVIEW: TUES 4 JUNE, 18.30 — 20.30]

The Contemporary Art Society recently gifted David Hockney’sA Rake’s Progress (1961–3) to the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, as a bequest from Dr. Ronald Lande in memory of his life partner Walter Urech. We are delighted to present the entire set of 16 prints this summer. This seminal work is a semi-autobiographical story about Hockney, the ‘rake’, and the down and outs of his life in New York in the early 1960s. Its format, story and numbering system are based on William Hogarth’s 1735 suite of prints of the same title. Where Hogarth’s 18th century prints illustrate the decline and fall of Tom Rakewell, Hockney’s work tells the story of the rake arriving in New York through to his eventual fate in Bedlam, a place of the mindless masses of the ‘other people’. CuratorHelen Stalker of the Whitworth Art Gallery discusses the pervading influence of A Rake’s Progress at the Contemporary Art Society on 13 June.

John Stezaker WED 4 SEPT — FRI 4 OCTOBER
[PREVIEW: TUES 3 SEPTEMBER, 18.30 — 20.30]

British artist John Stezaker uses collage to explore the subversive within found images such as film magazines, vintage postcards and illustrations. Fall XII and Fall XIII (both 1992) were recently bought for York Art Gallery through the Contemporary Art Society with support from the Art Fund and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. The male and female collages explore traditional artistic training such as anatomical study and life drawing, by referencing the source material of Arthur Thompson’s book Anatomy for Art Students, a core text for students at the Slade School of Art until the 1970s. Fall XIIand Fall XIII are on display at the Contemporary Art Society alongside a selection of other works from York Art Gallery’s collection. John Stezaker discusses his work at the Contemporary Art Society on 12 September.

The Renaissance Strategic support fund supports activity that will contribute to the Arts Council’s goals, particularly in ensuring that museums become more sustainable, resilient and innovative, and able to attract wider audiences. For more information on the Renaissance programme please visit the Arts Council’s website.

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.