Tate Modern’s Blockbuster-Maker Nancy Ireson Will Join the Barnes Foundation as Chief Curator

The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia has named Tate Modern curator Nancy Ireson its new deputy director for collections and exhibitions and its chief curator. She will begin her new post in August.

During her tenure at the Tate, Ireson made waves by co-curating high-profile exhibitions of Pablo Picasso and Amedeo Modigliani, both of whom feature prominently in the Barnes’s holdings.

“The artists I have focused on—in my research and exhibitions—are at the heart of the Barnes collection,” said Ireson in an email to artnet News. “To integrate their work into a broad program, featuring art from different times and countries, offers rich opportunities to see them afresh.”

The appointment, announced today, fills the vacancy left by Sylvie Patry, who announced her departure in June. After less than two years on the job, Patry returned to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, where she had previously worked for more than a decade, as its deputy director for curatorial affairs and collections. Patry will remain a consulting curator at the Barnes through 2019.

Modigliani VR: The Ochre Atelier. Image courtesy of Preloaded/Tate Modern.

Modigliani VR: The Ochre Atelier. Image courtesy of Preloaded/Tate Modern.

Ireson has been the Tate’s curator of international art since 2015. Her most recent exhibition is “The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love Fame Tragedy,” on view through September 9. Her show “Modigliani” closed last week. Ireson was also instrumental in guiding the museum’s first forays into virtual reality. She helped develop “Modigliani VR: The Ochre Atelier,” which allowed visitors to step into the Parisian studio where the artist worked during the last years of his career.

Ireson previously held posts at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, and the Courtauld Gallery in London.

“It is a great pleasure to welcome Nancy to the Barnes,” said the museum’s executive director and president Thom Collins in a statement. “Her impressive scholarly achievements and pioneering work relating to artists so well represented in the Barnes collection make her uniquely prepared to lead our curatorial initiatives.”

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