Influencers - The Courtauld Institute of Art


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Alumni Stories


Alumni Stories


Those who are connected across the art world and are influencing debate and conversation through fields such as curating and journalism.

Andrew Graham Dixon (PhD 1982), Writer, Broadcaster, Critic, Art Historian

“The story of art is also the story of all of us”

Andrew Graham Dixon is a writer, broadcaster, critic and art historian, who has presented numerous well-known, landmark TV series on art for the BBC and Channel 4. He has a long history of public service in the visual arts, having judged the Turner Prize, the BP National Portrait Prize and the Annual British Animation Awards, among others. He has served on the Government Art Collection Committee, the Hayward Advisory Committee, and is currently a member of the board of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.

He is the author of several books, including Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel. (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2008) and Caravaggio: A Life Sacred And Profane (Allen Lane, 2009).

Naomi Beckwith (MA 1999), Manilow Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

“I aim to stretch the bounds of art history by bringing the marginal to the center”

Naomi Beckwith is Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. With a BA in History from Northwestern University, Naomi completed her master’s thesis at The Courtauld on the American conceptual artist and philosopher Adrian Piper and the photographer Carrie Mae Weems.

Naomi has curated some of the most highly acclaimed exhibitions in the history of MCA Chicago, including a Howardena Pindell retrospective, The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now (in 2015) and Color Blind: The MCA Collection in Black and White (in 2013). Before joining MCA Chicago, Naomi had previously worked at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Her curatorial work focuses on the deficit of people of colour and women in the western art-historical canon, multi-disciplinary art practices and respecting cultural differences in an age of globalisation.

Oriole Cullen (MA 1998), Curator of Modern Textiles and Fashion, V&A

“The Courtauld opened my eyes to the way that museum objects generate narratives and ignite debate”

Oriole Cullen has worked at The V&A since 2006 and is currently Curator of Modern Textiles and Fashion. She has curated many highly-acclaimed exhibitions, including Ballgowns: British Glamour since 1950 and Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones. Prior to joining The V&A, Cullen was Curator for Dress and Decorative Arts at the Museum of London and worked on exhibitions including The London Look: Fashion from Street to Catwalk and Vivienne Westwood: The Collection of Romilly McAlpine.

Most recently Oriole has curated the sell-out exhibition Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, which had to be extended due to popular demand.

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