Interior shot of stairway and columns

News Archive 2021

The Courtauld Gallery to reopen

30 Sep 2021

The Courtauld Gallery in London will open to the public on Friday 19 November 2021 following the most significant modernisation project in its history, providing a transformed home for one of the UK’s greatest art collections.

Visitors to the gallery in Somerset House, which has been closed since 2018, will be able to enjoy masterpieces from The Courtauld’s much-loved collection presented and interpreted across elegantly restored galleries, alongside a new contemporary commission, special displays, enhanced visitor facilities, and dynamic new spaces.

Paintings from The Courtauld’s world-famous collection of Impressionist art by Monet, Degas, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Manet and others will be reunited in the spectacular LVMH Great Room, London’s oldest purpose-built exhibition space. The Blavatnik Fine Rooms, spanning the entire second floor, will provide a beautiful setting for works from the Renaissance to the 18th century. New rooms devoted to 20th century art and the Bloomsbury Group will showcase lesser-known aspects of the collection, and a new Project Space will spotlight temporary projects to connect the public with the institution’s work as a leading centre for the study of art history.

Tickets for The Courtauld Gallery are on sale now with a special introductory price of £9 (£11 weekends / concessions available) until the end of January 2022. Friends membership is available from just £5.50 a month, or £66 annually, and active members of the Friends and Patrons programmes can enjoy unlimited access to The Courtauld Gallery throughout the year.

The new Denise Coates Exhibition Galleries will be inaugurated with the exhibition: Modern Drawings: The Karshan Gift, which will run until January 2022 and feature work by European and American masters including Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Gerhard Richter, Louis Soutter and Cy Twombly. Also included in the ticket price will be Pen to Brush: British Drawings and Watercolours in the Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery and Kurdistan in the 1940s in the new Project Space, showcasing the work of 20th century British photographer Anthony Kersting.

Tickets are also on sale for the Morgan Stanley Exhibition Van Gogh Self-Portraits (3 February – 8 May 2022), the first exhibition devoted to Van Gogh’s self-portraits across his entire career. The exhibition takes as its springboard Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, one of the most iconic works in The Courtauld’s collection, and will bring together an outstanding selection of over 15 self-portraits from collections around the world. The exhibition is the first in the new Morgan Stanley Series of high-profile temporary exhibitions at The Courtauld. Further exhibitions will be announced later in 2021. Van Gogh Self-Portraits is supported by Kenneth C. Griffin, with additional support from The Huo Family Foundation.

Professor Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing Director of The Courtauld, said: “We cannot wait to be able to welcome visitors back into The Courtauld Gallery after being closed for over three years. The transformation has been quite incredible, and the masterpieces in our collection now shine brighter than ever before. With improved visitor facilities, greater accessibility and a new Leon Kossoff Learning Centre we’re also looking forward to welcoming people who might not have visited The Courtauld before – as well as being once again able to use the Gallery to teach our wonderful art history, curation and conservation students.”

Sir Leonard Blavatnik said: “My wife and I are delighted to support the historic renovation of The Courtauld, including the Blavatnik Fine Rooms. We congratulate all those associated with the project, a unique addition to London and the world of the fine arts.”

Stuart McLeod, Director London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We are thrilled that one of the UK’s greatest art collections will have a transformed new home in just two months’ time. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, a significant grant has enabled a series of transformative improvements in accessibility, as well as a new Learning Centre that will enable people of all ages to engage with the masterpieces on display. We look forward to The Courtauld Gallery reopening its doors very soon.”

When it reopens, The Courtauld’s digital offer will also be expanded, engaging new audiences and enhancing access to the collection through a partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies to improve the Gallery’s digital infrastructure. The Courtauld will also launch a guide on the Bloomberg Connects app, a free digital guide to cultural organisations around the world featuring expert commentary, video highlights and way-finding maps which will extend access to The Courtauld Gallery for all. Bloomberg Connects makes it easy to access and engage with arts and culture from mobile devices, anytime, anywhere. The Bloomberg Connects app is free via Apple Store or Google Play. 


The transformation of The Courtauld, led by Stirling Prize-winning architects Witherford Watson Mann, has been supported by £11 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and a generous donation of £10 million from philanthropists Sir Leonard and Lady Blavatnik, and the Blavatnik Family Foundation. Additional major support has been provided by AKO Foundation, the Deborah Loeb Brice Foundation, The John Browne Charitable Trust, Denise Coates CBE, Crankstart, The Garcia Family Foundation, The Garfield Weston Foundation, Dr Martin and Susanne Halusa, The Linbury Trust, LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton and Oak Foundation. The Courtauld is most grateful to these visionary supporters, alongside others who are making this project and its related activities possible. The collection cared for by The Courtauld Gallery belongs to the Samuel Courtauld Trust. 


The Courtauld Gallery 

Reopening Friday 19 November 2021 

Monday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm (last entry 5.15pm) 

Special introductory offer: £9 weekday / £11 weekends. Concessions available. 

Free to students, under 18s, those in receipt of job seekers allowance, teachers, FE and HE lecturers  

Full details: 

Tickets are initially available online only. Walk up tickets will also be available once The Courtauld Gallery reopens on 19 November.

Van Gogh Self Portraits
3 February – 8 May 2022 

£16 weekday / £18 weekend. Concessions available.
Full details: 

Notes to Editors

About The Courtauld

The Courtauld works to advance how we see and understand the visual arts, as an internationally-renowned centre for the teaching, research of art history and a major public gallery.  Founded by collectors and philanthropists in 1932, the organisation has been at the forefront of the study of art ever since, through advanced research and conservation practice, innovative teaching, the renowned collection and inspiring exhibitions of its gallery, and engaging and accessible activities, education and events.

The Courtauld cares for one of the greatest art collections in the UK, presenting these works to the public at The Courtauld Gallery in central London, as well as through loans and partnerships. The Gallery is most famous for its iconic Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces – such as Van Gogh’s Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère. It showcases these alongside an internationally renowned collection of works from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance through to the present day.

Academically, The Courtauld faculty is the largest community of art historians and conservators in the UK, teaching and carrying out research on subjects from creativity in late Antiquity to contemporary digital artforms – with an increasingly global focus. An independent college of the University of London, The Courtauld offers a range of degree programmes from BA to PhD in the History of Art, curating and the conservation of easel and wall paintings. Its alumni are leaders and innovators in the arts, culture and business worlds, helping to shape the global agenda for the arts and creative industries.

Founded on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to engage with art, The Courtauld works to increase understanding of the role played by art throughout history, in all societies and across all geographies – as well as being a champion for the importance of art in the present day. This could be through exhibitions offering a chance to look closely at world-famous works; events bringing art history research to new audiences; accessible and expert short courses; digital engagement, innovative school, family and community programmes; or taking a formal qualification. The Courtauld’s ambition is to transform access to art history education, by extending the horizons of what this is, and ensuring as many people as possible can benefit from the tools to better understand the visual world around us.

The Courtauld is currently undertaking an ambitious transformation project that will make it accessible to even more people. The Courtauld’s home in historic Somerset House – London’s working arts centre – is closed for a major programme of renovation. The Courtauld’s students and academic staff are based near King’s Cross. The Gallery is scheduled to reopen in November 2021.

The Courtauld is an exempt charity and relies on generous philanthropic support to achieve its mission of advancing the understanding of the visual arts of the past and present across the world, through advanced research, innovative teaching, inspiring exhibitions, programmes and collections.

The collection cared for by the Courtauld Gallery is owned by the Samuel Courtauld Trust, which has been a partner in the Courtauld Connects project.

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund

About the Blavatnik Family Foundation

The Blavatnik Family Foundation is an active supporter of world-renowned educational, scientific, cultural, and charitable institutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Russia and throughout the world. The Foundation is headed by Sir Leonard Blavatnik, a global industrialist and philanthropist and the founder and chairman of Access Industries, a privately held industrial group based in the U.S. with broad strategic interests. See more at

About LVMH

The LVMH Group is the world leader in luxury. LVMH comprises 75 exceptional Houses that create high quality products. It is the only group present in all five major sectors of the luxury market: Wines & Spirits, Fashion & Leather Goods, Perfumes & Cosmetics, Watches a Jewelry and Selective Retailing. The Group is also widely recognized for its philanthropy in support of the arts, education and humanitarian initiatives. Since 2014, the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris has been pursuing its own groundbreaking artistic program.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 810 cities and 170 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2020, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.6 billion. For more information, please visit or follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTube, and Twitter.

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in more than 41 countries, the Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit