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Emily Burns

Emily Burns

Assistant Curator: Van Dyck

My Posts:

Job description

I provide curatorial support for the Van Dyck touring project.

Displays I have curated include Bernard Partridge character sketchesNo end of a lesson’: The Boer War, 1899-1902Thomas Carlyle: Historian of HeroesPainting Parliament: The Fine Arts Commission, 1841-1863, Henry Tonks: Studies of the Artist and Old Titles and New Money: American Heiresses and the British Aristocracy.


I studied History of Art at Cambridge University, before completing an MA in Cultural Heritage at University College London. After my Masters, I joined the team at Leighton House Museum and 18 Stafford Terrace, where I became Curatorial Museum Assistant.  I spent a year expanding my horizons through six-month internships at the Victoria and Albert Museum and Lisson Gallery, followed by a three-month internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.  On my return in 2012 I joined the fantastic curatorial team at the National Portrait Gallery.  I write art exhibition reviews in my spare time. I am currently studying for a PhD at Nottingham University.

Research interests

Having worked cross-period until recently, my research interests are broad and range from late-Victorian and early-twentieth-century art, especially the work of Sir Frederic Leighton, J.W. Waterhouse and John Singer Sargent, to modern and contemporary self-portraiture. I am also interested in historic houses and collections history, in particular the broader artistic and cultural exchange between Britain and Continental Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and how this was manifested in artistic production and patronage. 

Recent Publications

‘Drying Time’ by Yelena Popova at Paradise Row, Apollo Magazine, 20 April 2014.

‘Richard Hamilton’ at Tate Modern, This is Tomorrow, Contemporary Arts Magazine, 18 Mar 2014

‘Mat Collishaw: THIS IS NOT AN EXIT’, BREEESE LITTLE Prize for Art Criticism, Vol. 7, March 2013; ‘Polaroid Factory: Sean Raggett’, Photomonitor, 17 June 2013.

‘Tomorrow Never Knows: Ed Atkins and Naheed Raza’, This is Tomorrow, Contemporary Arts Magazine, 29 January 2013

An up-to-date list can be found on my Linked In profile: