Alumni in Profile: Rosamund Garrett
Rosamund Garrett (MA 2012) is studying for her PhD at The Courtauld and has recently been appointed as the new Curatorial Assistant at The Courtauld Gallery. When Rosamund was asked about her experiences as a student here she said, “It has been a real privilege to study with Professor Susie Nash, both for my Masters and my PhD. Her approach has been incredibly formative for me. It has also been great to have access to The Courtauld’s vibrant community of scholars, both early career and established in formal settings such as the Research Forum or informally over coffee in the student café.”
Now a few months into her new role, Rosamund writes for The Alumni E-News about swiftly learning that things are not always what they seem at The Courtauld.
‘Can I move the window?’ was not a question I thought I’d be asking a few days into my new position as Curatorial Assistant at The Courtauld Gallery. I had been charged with curating a display of works on paper by the Netherlandish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder (around 1525-1569) in the Drawings Gallery. This beautiful space has two windows facing onto the courtyard, but clever custom design allows us to cover one or both if additional hanging space is needed. The argument of my proposed display worked best if only the left window remained visible so, after a little trial and error, we changed the wall around, with the help of a bright torch and a magnet to locate hidden screws. The space could then be painted and the works hung.
The display brings together all the works on paper within our collection by Bruegel or once attributed to him. Advances in scholarship have shown that, in addition to autograph works by Bruegel, we are actually in the possession of drawings by three early emulators of the master who were working in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It was important for the display to demonstrate how closely these artists had imitated, and in at least one case outright forged, the master’s work, and so I decided to intersperse these drawings with originals by Bruegel rather than segregate them.
Prints and drawings are stored unframed in standard size mounts, which means we also get to choose frames from our stock. The variety used were selected not only to best complement each work but to deliberately avoid distinction between the four artists. I would encourage you, should you visit, to ignore the labels and try to establish the master’s hand for yourselves, at least for the first glance. If that fails, you can always join the heated debate of how many mules there are in the exhibition, or try to spot the hidden window.
Bruegel/Not Bruegel will be on in The Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery at The Courtauld Gallery until 17 April 2016.
Don’t forget that if you sign up as a Friend of The Courtauld for £40 you can access exhibitions at The Courtauld for free and enjoy a huge range of brilliant events.