This summer the renowned scholar and curator Carl Strehlke, Adjunct Curator of the Johnson Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art, spent the month of June with us in the Gallery to advise on research and cataloguing of the Italian paintings before 1500, as part of a project organized by the Courtauld Institute’s Research Forum. Carl made a memorable contribution to the Gallery and Institute, sharing his knowledge in the identification and study of our collection and offering ideas on curating and exhibitions. He gave several lively seminars at the Institute, including a discussion with Luke Syson of the National Gallery and a fascinating work-in-progress talk on the subject of his next exhibition, painting in the Kingdom of Aragon. Carl was central to a study morning with the Daddi polytych (which offered a rare chance to examine the figures painted on the back) and to the examination of Botticelli’s Trinity with staff, students and external experts, organized by Pat Rubin. Carl also made many informal contributions, regularly dropping in to talk to the Conservation of Easel Paintings students about their latest projects, whilst also finding time for discussions with postgraduate art historians and the members of the East Wing Exhibition Committee.

Carl’s presence resulted in a number of breakthroughs in research in the collection, including several suggestions for re-attributions. Typical of the energy and excitement he brought to the Gallery was the discovery – on his very last day with us – of a bearded male saint underneath the surface of a Filippo Lippi female saint in the collection.

Dr. Caroline Campbell
Curator of Paintings