Nathaniel Hepburn appointed as new Charleston Director

Charleston has today announced that Nathaniel Hepburn has been appointed to the position of Director and Chief Executive.

18 July, 2017

Charleston has today announced that Nathaniel Hepburn has been appointed to the position of Director and Chief Executive, succeeding Alistair Burtenshaw after almost 5-years of leadership. We would like to thank Alistair for his tireless efforts in bringing to fruition the long-awaited Centenary Project, and we wish him well in his new role as Director of Watts Gallery Trust in Surrey. Nathaniel will take up his new position in October 2017.

Professor Michael Farthing, Chair of Trustees at Charleston, said:
“We are delighted that Nathaniel will be joining us at Charleston in October. He is an experienced museum director and curator and has already worked closely with Charleston in the collaboration, Sussex Modernism, earlier this year. The Trustees were confident during the appointment process that Nathaniel has the vision, ambition and energy to take Charleston to the next exciting stage of its development.”

In his three years as Director of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, and previous 10 years as Curator of Mascalls Gallery in Kent, Nathaniel Hepburn has established a reputation for programming a diverse range of high-quality exhibitions developing a specialism in Modern British Art. Nathaniel has curated over 50 exhibitions which have been shown at some of the best museums and galleries across the country including Barbara Hepworth: The Hospital Drawings (with The Hepworth Wakefield and Pallant House Gallery), William Gear (with Towner, Eastbourne and City Art Centre, Edinburgh) and Cedric Morris & Christopher Wood (with Norwich Castle Museum and Falmouth Art Gallery). At Ditchling, this has extended beyond exhibitions to include developing the exciting Big Steam Print and The Village of Type programme, introducing a programme of residencies for artists, makers, designers and writers, as well as leading the nine Sussex museums and galleries, including Charleston, in bringing Sussex Modernism to Two Temple Place.

Nathaniel Hepburn said:
“Charleston is one of the world’s most important artists’ homes and, in itself, a real work of art. I am honoured to take up the baton to work with Charleston’s staff and Trustee team to preserve and share this treasure. I am similarly thrilled to have the opportunity the new buildings offer us to develop a wide-ranging and world-class programme of exhibitions, talks, events and residencies, as well as a learning programme which shares Charleston with future generations who will love and be inspired by this remarkable Bloomsbury home in the way that I and so many others do.”

During 2018, Charleston will open the latest phase of the ambitious Centenary Project with a large and flexible barn for diverse artistic, literary and arts programming, a new 80-100 seater café and restaurant and beautiful purpose-built new galleries, collection store and archives by Jamie Fobert Architects. The final stage of the capital development, the development of a purpose-built Learning Studio as well as refurbishment of offices and retail spaces, will be completed in the coming years subject to funding.

Notes to editors
Situated in the heart of the South Downs, Charleston was the home of Bloomsbury artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. Pioneers of early 20th century British art, Bell and Grant created a hub of artistic and intellectual activity at Charleston with visitors including Virginia and Leonard Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, E.M. Forster and many others. Charleston is a unique example of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant’s decorative style within a domestic context and represents the fruition of over sixty years of artistic creativity, from 1916 to 1978.