In September 2017, Eleanor Hutchison and Kate O'Donoghue joined the National Gallery as Curatorial Trainees, supported by Art Fund with the assistance of the Vivmar Foundation.
Eleanor's and Kate's first few months have been a whirlwind of activity, filled with a range of training and learning opportunities. They have been introduced to key Gallery departments such as Framing, Conservation, Art Handling and Scientific, enabling them to examine masterpieces close up and from entirely new perspectives. They have also participated in language classes, provenance and courier training, re-hangs and public talks, and visited a range of museums and galleries across the country. In particular, they have both begun to explore the collections at Compton Verney and the Walker Art Gallery, whose teams they will be joining in spring 2018 to work on dedicated projects.
"My project at Compton Verney involves researching and rehanging the Northern European collection, as well as developing an exhibition based around the collection. I have been focusing especially on the artist Lucas Cranach the Elder, as Compton Verney has a particularly rich collection of his works. It has proved particularly timely to look (...) at (...) his close proximity to the major events of the German Reformation, with the 500-year anniversary of this tumultuous time taking place at the end of October. I have just come back from my first visit to Compton Verney. It was great to see their collection in the flesh, and start to get a picture of the space I’ll be working with, (...)."
Kate describes her visit to the Walker Art Gallery:
"I witnessed one of their most famous masterpieces undergoing treatment in the conservation studio, Murillo’s Virgin and Child in Glory. Along with its oil sketch, it has recently been the subject of a conservation project, a study which is the focus of a new display at the Walker. Following the fascinating sessions at the National Gallery, I was excited to see that the Walker Art Gallery places an emphasis on conservation in its engagement with the public. I am looking forward to exploring these possibilities as I move forward with this programme."