Kathleen Soriano

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Kathleen Soriano
Born (1963-07-18) 18 July 1963 (age 59)
London, England, United Kingdom
Alma materUniversity of Leicester
Years active1989 – present
Known forEx-Director of Exhibitions - Royal Academy of Arts
TelevisionArtist of the Year
SpousePeter Greenhough
  • Salvador Soriano (father)
  • Kathleen O'Neill (mother)

Kathleen Soriano (born 18 July 1963) is a British independent arts curator, writer and television broadcaster.


Kathleen Soriano was born in 1963 in London to parents Salvador Soriano and Kathleen O'Neill.[1] She studied at the University of Leicester from 1982 until 1985 and obtained a Bachelor of Arts Honours in History of Art and English. In 1995 she married Peter Greenhough.[1]


Her first major role in the arts was with the Royal Academy of Arts where she worked until 1989.[2] In 1989 she joined the National Portrait Gallery, London as its Head of Exhibitions and Collections.[2] She remained with the Gallery until 2006.[2]

In 2004, Soriano became a Clore Fellow at the Clore Leadership Programme during its inaugural year. The Clore Fellowship is a programme that aims to develop cultural leaders.[3] She carried out her secondment at the South Bank Centre with Michael Lynch and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.[3][4]

In February 2006, she left the National Portrait Gallery and became the Director at Compton Verney in Warwickshire.[4] In 2007, Soriano became one of three judges who selected 238 works from 1600 entries from across the West Midlands for the Birmingham Open Art Exhibition.[5]

In late 2008, she was appointed the new director of exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts, replacing the retiring Sir Norman Rosenthal who had held the post for 31 years.[6] This was a new position replacing the former Exhibitions Secretary post.[7] She took up the role in January 2009. During her time at Royal Academy of Arts she developed exhibitions such as the Bronze, David Hockney, Van Gogh and Degas.[2] In 2013, she curated the exhibition Australia at the Royal Academy.[8] It featured both Aboriginal heritage and Australian art covering 200 years.[8] She left the Royal Academy in 2014 and was replaced by Tim Marlow.[9]

In 2013, Soriano joined the television show Sky Arts Artist of the Year as one of three expert judges. She is continuing in this the role in the 2019 series.[10]

From April 2014, Soriano began working independently as an art curator and on other cultural projects.[2] She was one of five judges of the Place Prize for Choreography in 2008 when Adam Linder won the main prize.[11]

In October 2016, Soriano was appointed as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Liverpool Biennial, replacing Paula Ridley.[12]

During January 2018, she curated the London Art Fair's 30th Anniversary - Art of the Nation: Five Artists Choose.[13] In early 2019, she curated an exhibition of the works of Harald Sohlberg for the Dulwich Picture Gallery, the first exhibition of his works in the UK.[14]


  • Liz Rideal and Kathleen Soriano (16 April 2018). Madam and Eve: Women Portraying Women
  • Tai-Shan Schierenberg, Kathleen Soriano, and Kate Bryan (6 November 2014). Portrait Artist of the Year: A Little Book of Portraits
  • Richard Davey, Kathleen Soriano, Christian Weikop (29 September 2014). Anselm Kiefer
  • Wally Caruana, Franchesca Cubillo, Anna Gray, Deborah Hart, Thomas Keneally, Ron Radford, Kathleen Soriano and Daniel Thomas (4 February 2014). Australia
  • Kathleen Soriano, Emmanuel Cooper and Xavier Salomon (30 April 2010). Compton Verney



  • Mirrors to Windows: The Artist as Woman (2015)


  • Portrait Artist of the Year (2013)
  • Landscape Artist of the Year (2015)
  • Landscape Artist of the Year (2016)
  • Portrait Artist of the Year (2016)
  • Landscape Artist of the Year (2017)
  • Portrait Artist of the Year (2017)
  • Portrait Artist of the Year (2018)
  • Portrait Artist of the Year (2019)
  • Portrait Artist of the Year (2020)


  1. ^ a b "Soriano, Kathleen". Oxford Index. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Kathleen Soriano". Leading Culture Destinations Awards. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Clore Fellows". The Clore Leadership Programme. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Kathleen Soriano in Conversation". Ocula. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  5. ^ BBC. "Open exhibition creates artistic free for all". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  6. ^ Bates, Stephen (17 July 2008). "People". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 June 2008.
  7. ^ Bloom, Julie (17 July 2008). "Museum Notes". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  8. ^ a b "200 years of Australian art on show in London". sg.news.yahoo.com. AFP Relax. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. ^ Brown, Mark (5 March 2014). "Royal Academy puts Tim Marlow in charge of exhibitions". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 June 2008.
  10. ^ "Do you have what it takes to become Sky Arts Artist of the Year?". Sky Arts. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  11. ^ Roy, Sanjoy (1 October 2008). "Dance world divided over Place prize decision". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 June 2008.
  12. ^ "Liverpool Biennial Announces New Chair of its Board". Liverpool Biennial. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  13. ^ "London Art Fair 2018 Marks 30th Anniversary With Milestone Curated Exhibition". Artlyst. 19 November 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  14. ^ "Harald Sohlberg: Curator's Introduction with Kathleen Soriano". www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk. Retrieved 14 March 2019.