Courtauld Institute of Art
|Courtauld Institute of Art|
|Chancellor||HRH The Princess Royal (University of London)|
|Location||London, England, UK|
|Affiliations||University of London|
The Courtauld Institute of Art UK //, commonly referred to as The Courtauld, is a self-governing college of the University of London specialising in the study of the history of art and conservation. It is among the most prestigious institutions in the world for these disciplines and is widely known for the disproportionate number of directors of major museums that have come from its small alumni body, often called "The Courtauld Mafia".
The art collection of the Institute is known particularly for its French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings and is housed in the Courtauld Gallery. The Institute and the Gallery are both in Somerset House, in the Strand in London.
The Institute was founded in 1932 through the philanthropic efforts of the industrialist and art collector Samuel Courtauld, the diplomat and collector Lord Lee of Fareham, and the art historian Sir Robert Witt. Originally the Courtauld Institute was based in Home House, a Robert Adam-designed townhouse in London's Portman Square. The Strand block of Somerset House, designed by William Chambers from 1775–1780, has housed the Courtauld Institute since 1989. The Courtauld celebrated its 75th anniversary during the 2007–08 academic year.
The Courtauld Institute of Art is a leading centre for the study of the history and conservation of art and architecture. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate teaching to around 400 students each year. Degrees are awarded by the University of London.
The Courtauld was ranked first in the United Kingdom for History and History of Art in The Guardian’s 2011 University Guide and was confirmed in this rank for research quality in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.  The Independent has called it "probably the most prestigious specialist college for the study of the history of art in the world." 
The only undergraduate course offered by the Courtauld is a BA in the History of Art. This is a full-time course designed to introduce students to all aspects of the study of western art.
Several taught courses are offered at postgraduate level: Masters degrees in the History of Art, Curating the Art Museum, the History of Buddhist Art, and the Conservation of Wall Painting are taught alongside Diploma courses in the Conservation of Easel Paintings and the History of Art. Students in the History of Art Master program have to choose a specialization ranging from antiquity to early modern to global contemporary artwork. Special options are taught in small class sizes of 5-10 students, allowing an optimal discussion between faculty members and students.
The Courtauld has two photographic libraries which started as the private collections of two ennobled benefactors: the Conway Library, covering architecture, architectural drawings, sculpture and illuminated manuscripts, named after Lord Martin Conway and the Witt Library, after Sir Robert Witt, covering paintings, drawings and engravings and containing over two million reproductions of works by over 70,000 artists. In 2009, it was decided that the Witt Library would not continue to add new material to the collection. The Book Library is one of the UK's largest archives of art history books, periodicals and exhibition catalogues. There is a Slide Library which also covers films, and an IT suite.
An online image collection provides access to more than 40,000 images, including paintings and drawings from the Courtauld Gallery, and over 35,000 photographs of architecture and sculpture from the Conway Library. Two other websites and sell high resolution digital files to scholars, publishers and broadcasters, and photographic prints to a wide public audience.
The Courtauld uses a virtual learning environment to deliver course material to its students. Since 2004, the Courtauld has published an annual research journal, immediations, edited by current members of the research student body. Each cover of the journal has been commissioned by a leading contemporary artist.
The art collection of the Institute is housed in the Courtauld Gallery. The collection was begun by the founder of the Institute, Samuel Courtauld, who presented an extensive collection of mainly French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in 1932. It was enhanced by further gifts in the 1930s and a bequest in 1948, and has since received many significant donations and bequests. The Gallery contains some 530 paintings and over 26,000 drawings and prints.
The Courtauld Gallery is open to the public. Since 1989 it has been housed in the Strand block of Somerset House, which was the first home of the Royal Academy, founded in 1768. In April 2013 the Head of the Courtauld Gallery was Ernst Vegelin.
Courtauld is especially well known for its large number of graduates, often called "the Courtauld Mafia," who have gone on to direct major art museums around the world. However, alumni are prominent in many other areas of the arts and beyond:
- Reyner Banham – Critic
- Graham W. J. Beal – Director, Detroit Institute of Arts (1999–present)
- Anita Brookner – Novelist and art historian; winner of the 1984 Man Booker Prize
- Thomas P. Campbell – Director, Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009–present)
- T. J. Clark – Marxist art historian
- Anne d'Harnoncourt – Director, Philadelphia Museum of Art (1982–2008)
- Jeremy Deller – English conceptual, video and installation artist who won the Turner Prize in 2004
- Kaywin Feldman – Director, Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2008–present)
- Andrew Graham-Dixon – Critic
- William M. Griswold – Director, Cleveland Museum of Art (2014–present)
- Sumaya bint El Hassan – Jordanian princess
- John Hayes – Director, National Portrait Gallery (1974–94)
- Michael Jacobs – Travel writer
- Sir Mark Jones – Director, Victoria and Albert Museum (2001–11)
- Narisa Levy of the royal family of Thailand
- Neil MacGregor – Director, National Gallery (1987–2002), British Museum (2002–present)
- Tim Marlow – Critic
- Sir Oliver Millar – Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures
- Nicholas Penny – Director, National Gallery (2008–2015)
- Griselda Pollock – Feminist art historian
- Vincent Price – Actor
- Sir Nicholas Serota – Director, Tate (1988–present)
- Brian Sewell – Critic
- John Shearman – Renaissance art historian
- Iain Sinclair – Novelist
- Jeff Wall – Canadian art historian and artist known for his large-scale, back-lit cibachrome photography
As of April 2013, the faculty of the Institute included:
- Caroline Arscott
- Aviva Burnstock
- John Lowden
- Susie Nash
- Mignon Nixon
- David Park
- David Solkin
- Julian Stallabrass
- Deborah Swallow
- Sarah Wilson
- Joanna Woodall
The Directors of the Courtauld Institute have been:
William George Constable 1932–1936 T. S. R. Boase 1936–1947 Anthony Blunt 1947–1974 Peter Lasko 1974–1985 Michael Kauffmann 1985–1995 Eric Fernie 1995–2003 James Cuno 2003–2004 Deborah Swallow 2004–
- Professor Deborah Swallow. The Courtauld Institute of Art. Accessed April 2013.
- Academic Staff, Information for students. The Courtauld Institute of Art. Accessed April 2013.
- Image Libraries: Witt Library. The Courtauld Institute of Art, 2009. Accessed April 2013.
- Courtauld Institute: Cuts Challenge Witt Library. ArtLyst, 30 March 2010. Accessed April 2013.
- Art and architecture. The Courtauld Institute of Art. Accessed April 2013.
- Courtauld Images. The Courtauld Institute of Art. Accessed April 2013.
- Courtauld Prints. Courtauld Gallery of Art. Accessed April 2013.
- Virtual Learning Environment. The Courtauld Institute of Art. Accessed April 2013.
- John Murdoch, The Courtauld Gallery at Somerset House. London: Thames & Hudson, 1998, p. 7.
- Simon, Robin (19 September 2007), "Masters of the Artistic Universe", The Spectator, retrieved 5 August 2014
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Courtauld Institute of Art.|
- Official website of the Courtauld Institute of Art
- "The Courtauld Institute of Art: An Introduction", Courtauld Institute, YouTube video