Art Fund and Whitechapel Gallery: Practical Skills in Showing Art courses

The Art Fund is pleased to be offering 25 fully funded bursaries across the Practical Skills in Showing Art courses, developed in partnership with Whitechapel Gallery.

Tree of Life by Rachel Whiteread at the Whitechapel Gallery, London © The artist / Photo: Guy Montagu-Pollock @ Arcaid & Photo © Marcus Dawes 2012

Update: our bursaries have now been allocated, but you can still buy tickets to the courses via the Whitechapel Gallery website.

The courses usually cost £195, and are in the following fields:


Creative Studio, Whitechapel Gallery


10am-1.30pm: morning session

1.30-2.30pm: lunch

2.30-6pm: afternoon session


This series is targeted at both early-career professionals and more experienced curators, offering the opportunity to acquire key skills that commonly lack direct training opportunities within gallery work environments. Led by experts in the field, each course will offer fresh insight, practical advice and resources, whether you are new to the topic or wish to refresh and expand your knowledge.

Applications are open to museum and gallery professionals who work with public collections, but curators will be prioritised. Each applicant may only apply for one of the six courses. Participants can be awarded a certificate on completion of the course, if requested.

How to apply

To apply for a fully-funded place please send us:

  • A one-page CV
  • An answer of no more than 300 words to the question, ‘How would attending this course be beneficial to your professional development?’

Please email your application to with the word ‘Whitechapel’ and the name of your preferred course in the subject line by 12noon on Wednesday 24 September.

How to Handle, Frame and Install Art

Friday 7 November 2014, 10am-6pm

The step-by-step guide to handling works of art, ensuring successful and safe installation and displays. From designing displays in a variety of spaces, best practice in handling and framing works, to important conservation issues for all manner of art work mediums, we explore the many facets of installation to equip you with tools to confidently plan and execute dazzling displays.

Tutor biography

Chris Aldgate is head of exhibition design and production at Whitechapel Gallery. Working closely with exhibiting artists and curators, Chris’ role is to plan, design, implement and manage the delivery of the Gallery’s exhibitions programme across the Gallery’s nine spaces. He is also responsible for the safe handling and stewardship of all loaned artworks and has vast experience of installing work of all media to world class standards.

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How to Light Exhibitions

Friday 14 November 2014, 10am-6pm

We address the important considerations and challenges of lighting works of all media. From painting to film and installation, we consider how lighting can magically lift and drastically effect our perception of work. We look at conservation limits and how to approach delicate archival material while ensuring all artistic concerns are met.

Tutor biography

John Johnson is director of Lightwaves ltd and is an exhibition lighting expert with over 40 years of experience in exhibitions, display and lighting design. Johnson has worked extensively over the years with Whitechapel Gallery, Tate, Hayward Gallery and Royal Academy and has directly advised artists such as Olafur Elliason, David Hockney and Anish Kapoor among many others.

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How to Photograph Art

Friday 21 November 2014, 10am-6pm

The documentation of the work of art is crucial for its afterlife in press and publications. Through practical exercise and theoretic study, we learn about the equipment, environment and image aftercare required in recording all manner of artwork for posterity.

Tutor biography

Stephen White is a fine art photographer and has photographed works and exhibitions in key art institutions across Britain for over two decades. He is the photographer of choice for galleries such as White Cube and many artists ranging from Damien Hirst to Antony Gormley.

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How to Write About Art

Friday 28 November 2014, 10am-6pm

As electronic media has expanded the discussion of art worldwide, the ability to write about contemporary art with clarity and originality has never been as necessary. We present here a guide on writing for a spectrum of forms, from a press release to a review, from a catalogue essay to a museum panel, from a website to an academic essay.

Tutor biography

Dr Gilda Williams is a London correspondent for Artforum magazine and a lecturer at Goldsmiths College, London and the Sotheby's Institute of Art. Williams is a member of the International Association of Art Critics; her writings on contemporary art have appeared in Parkett, Tate etc., Art Monthly, Art in America and Time Out magazines, and on film in Sight and Sound magazine. She is editor of The Gothic (MIT Press / Whitechapel, 2007) and her most recent book is How to Write About Contemporary Art (Thames & Hudson, 2014)

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How to Make a Publication

Friday 5 December 2014, 10am-6pm

Publications document works of art, record exhibitions, generate critical discourse and disseminate art and ideas worldwide. They can also be beautiful objects in their own right. This step by step session is a guide to every aspect of book publication, from commissioning designers and authors to the art of distribution.

Tutor biography

Sarah Auld is a freelance editor, publisher and the former publications manager at Whitechapel Gallery. Sarah has wide experience in publishing art books, from exhibition catalogues to critical and academic texts such as the Documents of Contemporary Art series published by Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press.

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How to Manage a Collection

Friday 12 December 2014, 10am-6pm

As an ever greater number of private individuals and foundations collect and lend modern and contemporary art, managing data, reproductions, insurance values and provenance are vital. This hands-on guide simplifies the fundamental processes behind managing a collection, from the moment of acquisition to arranging loans and display. The course offers expert advice to unpick legal queries, moving work overseas and how to efficiently document your collection, while equipping you with excellent standards to ensure the work retains its value. Aimed at collectors and those working within either new or growing collections, we examine the life’s journey of a collection and how to enhance it at each step.

Tutor biographies

With over 30 years’ experience in collections management in museums and galleries, Julia Toffolo is the former deputy drector and senior registrar of the UK Government Art Collection, where she was responsible for managing a large fine art collection in high-profile government buildings in the UK and all over the world. She runs Matassa Toffolo Ltd, providing high-quality care and management for corporate, public and private art collections.

Darryl de Prez, head of development at Whitechapel Gallery has wide knowledge of collecting from both personal and professional perspective, with huge experience of working with collections and collectors on all levels.

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