From Croydon to the Calouste Gulbenkian!

08 February 2017


In December, Sam Gathercole, Programme Leader for Fine Art, undertook a secondment at the Gulbenkian in Portugal. Sam shares his amazing experiences below:

In December, I participated in a new scheme, ‘Visiting Scholars Fellowships’, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal. The Gulbenkian invite proposals for researchers to pursue “Studies on a subject or works of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum collections”. The scheme facilitates a two to four week residency at the Museum.

I was encouraged to propose something by Penelope Curtis, who is the Director of Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. I had worked with Penelope on a publication in 2016 (Issue 3 of British Art Studies, ‘British Sculpture Abroad, 1945 – 2000’:, and that provided some of the context that led me to propose something for the ‘Visiting Scholars Fellowships’ scheme.

I am conducting some research on the work of a British artist called Anthony Hill, and the Gulbenkian has a number of his works in its extensive Modern Collection (made up mainly of Portuguese and British art). I am specifically focusing on some paintings made by Hill in the 1950's. A key early work by Hill, Painting, Red & White (1952) is in Lisbon. (image attached)

I spent two weeks working in the galleries, archive, collection store and library at the Gulbenkian, researching and writing about Hill’s work. I presented a talk on Hill in the Modern Collection galleries at the Museum.

The research is on-going, and I intend to submit the resulting essay for peer-review, and subsequent publication in an academic journal.

The chance to participate in the ‘Visiting Scholars Fellowships’ scheme was enthusiastically supported by Croydon School of Art / Croydon College.

 At the Croydon end, I’d like to particularly thank Fiona Minors (Head of the School of Art) and Andy Smith (Deputy Chief Executive) for making the Lisbon work possible.

Hill Painting Red and White

Painting, Red & White (1952) Hill