Sir Anthony Blunt, former director of The Courtauld Gallery

During the 1950s The Courtauld became a powerhouse of intellectual activity. The programme of research was left entirely to the students who chose their own topics for study, and many of whom became leading art historians of the next generation.

Anthony Blunt was Director and oversaw the development of The Courtauld Institute of Art during the 1950s and until his retirement in 1974, he also acted as surveyor of the Queen’s pictures. 

Despite his open Marxist beliefs, few could have suspected that Blunt had spied for the Soviet Union, a fact he was able to keep hidden until his retirement.

Over the course of his career, Blunt built The Courtauld into an internationally renowned centre of academic excellence and is remembered by those who studied under him as an inspirational teacher. During Blunt’s directorship annual summer schools began in 1956, and continue to this day.

A podcast discussion on Anthony Blunt held in the Kenneth Clarke Lecture Theatre in 2004

A BBC Radio 4 interview with Brian Sewell and other former students of The Courtauld discussing the impact of Anthony Blunt.

Summer Schools and the Public Programmes department


       Alan Bowness

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