Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Au revoir

In the second week of February I shall take up the position of director of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia in Canberra, having spent nearly eleven supremely enjoyable years living in the United States and serving as curator then senior curator of paintings and sculpture at the Yale Center for British Art here in New Haven, Connecticut. There is a great deal to be done between now and then, and, of course, in the years ahead I doubt I shall have enough time to maintain this modest bloggy train of thought—such as it has been. By exchanging the old curatorial hat for the novel director’s, I shall in future speak more directly for my institution and less often for myself, so you, my readers, may wish from time to time to visit http://portrait.gov.au to see what we are up to. Looking back over the past five years I am astonished to discover that I have dispensed several millions of words in this little spot—and I can thoroughly recommend it as a discipline, and as a form of recreation. One is occasionally astonished by the wide reach of this medium, by its capacity to reignite old friendships, and to create new ones. For all of this I am very grateful, and to all of you I say not goodbye but au revoir—and, of course, Happy New Year!