The Contemporary Art Society has just announced that Caroline Douglas has been appointed as their new Director from October 2013. Caroline joins the Contemporary Art Society from the Arts Council, where she has been Head of the Arts Council Collection since 2006. With over 20 years of experience in contemporary art, Caroline has made a significant impact in documenting the development of contemporary art collection, securing key acquisitions by important artists including Jeremy Deller, Gary Hume, Wolfgang Tillmans and Grayson Perry, as well as providing advocacy and support for more emerging talent.
Mark Stephens CBE, Chairman of the Contemporary Art Society, said:“On behalf of the Contemporary Art Society and its Board of Trustees, we are absolutely thrilled that Caroline Douglas has agreed to join us as Director at such a pivotal time for the Contemporary Art Society, a year on from the launch of our new public programme and our first ever permanent exhibition space. Caroline will look to further consolidate the profile of the Contemporary Art Society as the leading organisation for collecting contemporary art in the UK. She brings with her a quite outstanding track record in developing contemporary collections in addition to curating exhibitions for the benefit of public audiences, which is at the heart of the Contemporary Art Society’s mission.
For over 100 years, the Contemporary Art Society has worked to encourage philanthropy and an appreciation and understanding of contemporary art across the UK and has gifted over 8000 works of art to museums and public galleries up and down the country during that time. Our expertise in developing public collections stems from our unparalleled networks of supporters, including patrons, artists, curators and collectors, and this is an area that Caroline will further enhance.”
Caroline Douglas said: “I am delighted to be joining the Contemporary Art Society at this exciting moment just a year after it moved to a new permanent home in London. The Contemporary Art Society has a distinguished history in Britain, and has played a crucial role here, supporting public institutions around the country in acquiring great contemporary art. At a time of significant art cuts it is essential that the Contemporary Art Society continues its work for the benefit of audiences everywhere. The Contemporary Art Society has been expert in bringing private philanthropy to the support of cherished public collections since 1910, and that mission has never looked more critical than it does in 2013. I look forward to making a contribution to that mission in years to come.”
Grayson Perry CBE, artist supporter of the Contemporary Art Society said: “My art practice is entirely dependent on seeing great collections. I make no pretence of originality, only an ability to copy using a lens distorted by my own time and biography. To then see my works placed amongst those that have seeded my imagination is a great thrill and I hope that my art germinates new work in the minds of other artists. I can think of no better candidate to lead the Contemporary Art Society and ensure that the best new work enters public collections regionally.”
Bridget Riley CH CBE, artist supporter of the Contemporary Art Society said:
“Congratulations are due to the Contemporary Art Society for its choice of Caroline Douglas as the new Director. She understands well the importance of our regional museums and the needs of the present to relate to the past”.
Jeremy Deller, artist supporter of the Contemporary Art Society said:“Caroline Douglas has a great rapport with artists which will help the Contemporary Art Society hugely with its work collecting contemporary art”.
Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chairman of Arts Council England, said: “Over seven years Caroline has enriched and diversified the Arts Council Collection, forging strong links with important artists as well as galleries and sponsors. She’s maximised public access to the art via display, publication and online. We’ll miss her – it’s a shrewd appointment by the Contemporary Art Society.”