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Penelope Curtis

Penelope Curtis was announced as the new Director of the Tate Britain in April 2010.  Curtis was formerly curator of the Henry Moore institute in Leeds. She took over as Director of the Tate Britain from Stephen Deuchar.

Curtis wrote the Foreword for the catalogue to accompany the Migrations: Journeys into British Art exhibition. Her Foreword began with, “On arriving as the new Director at Tate Britain I proposed looking at the collection in relation to its troubling name. The national collection of British art is frequently not actually British and yet is happily, even unthinkingly, accommodated within our galleries. This fact is especially striking for the earlier part of the collection, where most of our paintinghs are by artists who came from overseas. The simple premise, then, of this alternative view of the collection is that the national collection of British art is often called British simply by custom or convention. Some of these artists made their homes here, while others left, and yet their work is ‘British’, as it were, by adoption. Making art British, or making British art, are divergent avenues which often intersect.”