Curatorial Studies

Penelope Curtis with Henry Moore's Draped Seated Figure' (1957-8)

Curatorial Lectures: Penelope Curtis

Working with Collections: A question of authenticity?

06.02.2020, 20:00

online via Zoom


Each academic year, S.M.A.K., Ghent University, and Curatorial Studies at KASK & Conservatorium School of Arts co-organise the Curatorial Lectures series presented by renowned curatorial practitioners in relation to a specific theme. Following ‘Working with Artists’ (2017-18), ‘Learning from Artists’ (2018-19), this year's series revolves around 'Working with Collections’ (2019-20).

Curatorial Lectures is a lecture series co-organised by S.M.A.K. and the Curatorial Studies postgraduate programme at KASK & Conservatorium in Ghent, Belgium.

Throughout her career Penelope Curtis has worked with collections, first at Tate Liverpool, then at the Henry Moore Institute, at Tate Britain, and now in Lisbon, at the Gulbenkian Museum. Working with collections does not usually bring into question the site-specific, but in the most recent show at the Gulbenkian, reconstructions of classic exhibition models of the post-war years exploit the local (non-site-specific) collection. This talk will review this exhibition and the questions it raises, in contrast to more standard ways of working with collections.


Penelope Curtis is currently the Director of the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon. Her most recent book (Yale, 2017) comes out of the Mellon lectures given at the National Gallery and at Yale in 2015, and is entitled 'Vertical, Horizontal, Closed, Open: Sculpture'. Other recent publications include essays on artistic legacy (Ridinghouse, 2018) and on trans-historical approaches (Valiz/Leuven, 2018).