As part of the ramp up to the reopening of The Courtauld Gallery in 2021, The Courtauld has appointed Jonathan Ping as its first ever Commercial and Visitor Experience Director. His role will focus on the creation of new café and shop spaces within the transformed Gallery – which has been closed since 2018 for a major renovation – as well as ensuring a high quality, welcoming experience for the Gallery’s new visitors.
Jonathan joins from the Royal Academy, where he spent the last two years as Head of Trading Operations & Environments. His role included transforming the museum and gallery retail space from a dated gift shop into a curated immersive environment; bringing together commercial environments with wider exhibitions as extension and exploration spaces; and the curating of collaborative products and commissions, including pop-up café’s and activations.
Prior to this, he was Head of Commercial at The View From The Shard, focusing on visitor and customer experience as part of the journey and creating retail and catering spaces as environments and not just shops and bars. In particular, he led their drive to curate and source products locally, with attention to detail in the manufacture and process, to ensure a quality which brought the commercial and visitor experience together.
“I’m delighted to be joining The Courtauld at such an exciting time in its history,” says Jonathan. “I’m greatly looking forward to being able to create new immersive and engaging spaces that are different to anything The Courtauld has offered before – and welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors to them every year.”
“The new café and retail spaces are just one of the many things to look forward to when The Courtauld Gallery reopens next year,” adds Professor Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing Director of The Courtauld. “Our ambitious transformation project will make our world-class artworks, research and teaching accessible to more people than ever before, and we want our visitor experience to be one of the best in London. Jonathan’s expertise and creativity will play a key part in ensuring that our overall vision for the new Courtauld Gallery is a success.”