OTTAWA. The National Gallery of Canada (NGC) has appointed a new Curator of Canadian Art, Katerina Atanassova, a respected curator, art historian and museum administrator specializing in historic and contemporary Canadian art. Atanassova is currently Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario. She will take up her position at the National Gallery on December 1st, 2014, announced gallery.ca.
„We are excited to have a scholar of the caliber of Katerina Atanassova joining our curatorial team,” said NGC Director and CEO, Marc Mayer. „She comes with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field of Canadian art, together with an international perspective. She also has a drive to broaden the appeal of historical Canadian art to diverse audiences.”
National Gallery’s Chief Curator, Paul Lang, added, „I very much look forward to working with Katerina. She has real charisma and conviction, and will bring a new eye to the collection.”
Atanassova (born in Bulgaria) will be charged with developing the national collections of Canadian painting, sculpture, prints and drawings, and decorative arts, dating up to 1980. She will make new acquisitions, organize exhibitions, head up the re-installation of the permanent collection of Canadian art, and direct the department of Canadian art.
With nearly twenty years’ experience in public art galleries, museums and heritage sites, Atanassova has organized over thirty exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. Among her most noteworthy shows are You Are Here: Kim Dorland and the Return to Painting, which was cited by the Globe and Mail as Toronto’s Best Show of 2013, and F. H. Varley: Portraits Into the Light, shown at Library and Archives Canada and named by the Ottawa Citizen as this city’s Best Show of 2007.
In addition, Atanassova was co-curator of the acclaimed exhibition Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, organized by London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada. Painting Canada was a hit in Europe, where 100,000 visitors saw it in London and more than 50,000 in Groningen, Netherlands.
„I look forward to working with all sectors of the art community in Canada and abroad” said Atanassova. „As a museum professional, I am honoured to be called upon to serve the National Gallery of Canada, one of the most revered art pantheons of the world.”
Upon hearing the news, the Executive Director and CEO of the McMichael, Dr. Victoria Dickenson, said, „We join Marc Mayer in congratulating Katerina Atanassova on this marvellous opportunity. For the last five years, Katerina’s creative vision has helped to define McMichael as a cultural destination and contributed to the outstanding success the institution has enjoyed. We look forward to collaborating with her and the National Gallery of Canada.”
Published widely, Atanassova is the author of the books The Sacred Image of the Icon: A World of Belief, F.H Varley: Portrait Into the Light and William Berczy: Man of Enlightenment, along with numerous exhibition catalogues, articles and lectures.
Atanassova is a Ph.D. candidate and adjunct instructor at York University, Department of Visual Arts and Culture, where she is studying the emergence of urban culture in Canada from the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. She holds an M.A. (1994) in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto and a B.A. in History and Art from the University of Sofia, in her native Bulgaria.
In October, the Gallery will bid a fond farewell to Charlie Hill, Curator of Canadian Art, who is retiring after a distinguished forty-two year career. Hill has built a sterling reputation over the years as one of the country’s foremost experts in Canadian art, responsible for landmark exhibitions and catalogues such as Canadian Painting in the 1930s, James Wilson Morrice: A Gift to the Nation, Emily Carr: New Perspectives and, most recently, Artists, Architects and Artisans: Canadian Art 1890-1918.
About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada’s premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. To do so, it maintains an extensive touring art exhibition programme.
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