20 July 2021
Appointment of new Director for the Sainsbury Centre: Jago Cooper
UEA and the Board of the Sainsbury Centre have appointed Jago Cooper as the new Director of the Centre and Professor of Art and Archaeology, who starts on Monday 15 November.
Professor Cooper has spent more than 20 years working on a diverse range of cultural projects around the world, always centred on the study and communication of visual and material culture.
After ten years as Head of the Americas Section at the British Museum and Director of the Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research, these collaborations have led to a series of innovative exhibitions, artistic commissions and international exchange programmes that challenge traditional museum practice.
With a particular interest in using digital technologies to reach new audiences and cut across multiple academic disciplines, his work spans the subjects of art, museology and archaeology. In addition to his books and exhibitions, Jago has also written and presented a series of BBC documentaries based on his research and international collaborations.
Professor Cooper said: “Since its inspired creation in the 1970s, the Sainsbury Centre has always been a place that breaks the rules in how Art and Culture should be seen and experienced. I am absolutely delighted to be joining such an inspirational institution that brings powerful stories to a global audience through its outstanding collections.
“I can’t wait to start working with the team to develop further the exciting programme of upcoming exhibitions, acquisitions and collaborative projects inspired by the Sainsbury collection and in many ways also by the world-leading research carried out at UEA.”
Dominic Christian, Chair of Sainsbury Centre board, said: “It with enormous pleasure and great warmth that we are delighted to welcome Jago as the new Director of the Sainsbury Centre. He is truly an outstanding talent.
“Thanks to the excellence of both the Executive Director Paul Greenhalgh, and Acting Director Ghislaine Wood, Jago comes to an environment proud of its history, excited at its future and thrilled at the leadership he will bring to it.”
Professor Sarah Barrow, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Arts and Humanities at UEA, said: “The University looks forward to working with Jago and all the team at the Sainsbury Centre to support their work and extend our collaborations in research, learning, engagement and innovation activity.
“We are proud of our association with such a wonderful beacon for visual arts on our campus and excited about the possibilities of creating new connections amongst faculty as well as with regional and international partners.”
The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is one of the most important public university art galleries in Britain. It was founded in 1973 at the University of East Anglia (UEA) with the support of one of the nation’s great philanthropic families, Sir Robert and Lady Sainsbury, who donated their extraordinary art collection which includes works dating from prehistory to the late 20th century from across the globe. A radical new building by Norman Foster was designed to house the collection and was his first public work.
The Sainsbury Centre holds one of the most impressive art collections outside of the national institutions. It includes a significant number of works by modern masters of European art such as Pablo Picasso, Edgar Degas, Alberto Giacometti, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Jacob Epstein, Jean Arp, Chaïm Soutine and Amedeo Modigliani. There are major holdings from Oceania, Africa, the Americas, Asia, the ancient Mediterranean cultures of Egypt, Greece and Rome, as well as Medieval Europe. Alongside these permanent collections, it hosts a range of exhibitions in the largest suite of temporary exhibitions galleries in Eastern England. sainsburycentre.ac.uk
The University of East Anglia (UEA) is a UK Top 25 university and is ranked in the top 50 globally for research citations. Known for its world-leading research and good student experience, it was awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework and is a leading member of Norwich Research Park, one of Europe’s biggest concentrations of researchers in the fields of environment, health and plant science. In 2020/21, UEA celebrated 50 years of Creative Writing education and research. www.uea.ac.uk
Author Marion Catlin
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