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The National Gallery Curatorial Traineeship Programme 2019–21

Supported by Art Fund with the assistance of the Vivmar Foundation

Southampton City Art Gallery and Museums Sheffield join as new Museum Partners

Since its launch in 2011, the National Gallery’s Curatorial Traineeship Programme, supported by Art Fund with the assistance of the Vivmar Foundation, has become recognised as an important curatorial training programme for the UK museums sector. It plays a key role in addressing the need to maintain and develop collections expertise, in particular in relation to pre-1900 European paintings.

The Programme provides the opportunity to undertake six-month curatorial skills training at the National Gallery in London, followed by a placement at a non-London partner museum to work on a project that sheds new light on the historic paintings within the partner venue’s collection.

The National Gallery is delighted to be joined by Southampton City Art Gallery and Museums Sheffield as its new partners for the 201921 cycle of the Curatorial Traineeship Programme:

Southampton City Art Gallery

Currently in its 80th year, Southampton City Art Gallery holds one of the finest collections of art in the south of England, holding Designated status from Arts Council England. Currently comprising over five thousand works and spanning eight centuries, the collection is an outstanding educational resource that can trace the history of European art from the Renaissance to the present day. The core of the collection is British twentieth century and contemporary art with work by over thirty Turner Prize artists. The Gallery runs a series of contemporary art and historic exhibitions which is complemented by a vibrant programme of learning activity.

The Trainee at Southampton City Art Gallery will have the opportunity to work on a project to revisit the founding principles of the City Art Gallery and examine its longstanding relationship with the National Gallery, resulting in an exhibition that will bring fresh perspectives to key European paintings in the collection.

Museums Sheffield

Museums Sheffield is the charity that runs the Millennium Gallery, Graves Gallery and Weston Park Museum, and cares for the city’s collection of art, human history and natural science. Established in 1998, it strives to provide inspirational museums and galleries where people can reflect upon the past, question the present and imagine the future, connecting visitors with each other and the wider world.

Millennium Gallery

The Millennium Gallery is one of modern Sheffield’s landmark public spaces. As well as being home to the city’s unique Ruskin and Metalwork collections, it hosts a varied programme of temporary exhibitions bringing nationally and internationally significant work to the city, showcasing Sheffield’s collections and shining a spotlight on the work of local artists and makers.

Graves Gallery

The Graves Gallery is a celebration of the city’s historic fine art collection and presents contemporary art of every description through a diverse temporary exhibition programme. It takes its name from JG Graves, the businessman who funded the building of the gallery and donated many of the city’s artworks.

Weston Park Museum

Weston Park Museum tells the story of Sheffield from Pre-History to the present day. A major redevelopment in 2016 has helped us enable visitors to dig deeper into the city’s collections, while a vibrant changing exhibition programme continues to offer visitors further reasons to return. The museum features collections spanning visual art to natural science and is also home to one of the oldest weather stations in the country.

The Trainee at Sheffield Museums will concentrate on 19th-century French and German paintings, focusing on the re-interpretation of conventional narratives and examining in particular the implications of Orientalism and the role of women within art production and consumption.

The Curatorial Trainees

The Curatorial Trainee vacancies will be advertised in the Job section on the National Gallery website during June 2019. A full press release will be issued once the new Trainees have been appointed.

The new cycle of the Programme places particular emphasis on facilitating access to a curatorial career for people currently underrepresented in the museum workforce.


For further information on the Curatorial Traineeship Programme please contact Anna Murray, National Partnerships Programmer, The National Gallery.