Royal Academy bags Tim Marlow
The art historian and broadcaster Tim Marlow has been appointed by the Royal Academy as its director of artistic exhibitions, replacing the outgoing Kathleen Soriano who, after half a decade in the post, said she was ready for a change.
Mr Marlow will bring with him a solid ten year’s worth of experience at Jay Jopling’s White Cube, where he occupied a similar position. During this time he has helped transform it into one of the most influential contemporary art galleries in the world.
That alone is certainly reputable, but along with working with some of the biggest names in the world of art – including Tracey Emin (the Royal Academy’s professor of drawing), Damien Hirst and Anselm Kiefer – he also has a simultaneously successful academic, publishing and media career.
This has included presenting over 100 documentaries on British TV, being the founder editor of the Tate magazine and co-authoring Anselm Kiefer: Karfunkelee and the Fertile Crescent, along with the historian Simon Schama.
“I love the academy because it has almost been like a pillar of the establishment for centuries but it’s kind of slightly misunderstood, slightly underrated and slightly anti-establishment,” he told the Guardian.
“There is no other institution like it in Britain or the world. At other museums you deal with your curators, your audience, your trustees. At the academy you’re dealing with artists, living and dead, all of the time.”
Christopher Le Brun, president of the Royal Academy, said that Mr Marlow has proved himself to be an authority on art, commenting that his career to date has revealed a bold and visionary streak that is just what the academy needs.
Charles Saumarez Smith, secretary and chief executive of the Royal Academy, welcomed Mr Marlow’s appointment, adding that he is looking forward to working with him on an artistic programme “that builds on an exceptional trajectory”.
“His success at White Cube, coupled with his knowledge of art history and experience in arts broadcasting will be of great value as we continue the renewal of the Royal Academy in the lead up to our 250th anniversary in 2018,” he concluded.
As Mr Smith acknowledges, this appointment comes at a key time in the history of the Royal Academy. It is being modernised, with a major £26 million redevelopment project taking place at its site in Mayfair.
Led by the celebrated British architect Sir David Chipperfield, best known for his work on the River and Rowing Museum in Oxfordshire and the Turner Contemporary in Kent, the initiative is considered to be the most significant since its move to Piccadilly in 1869.
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