Lucy Dahlsen

Lucy Dahlsen

Assistant Curator (1910-Contemporary)

My Posts:

Job description

I work on the Gallery’s 20th Century and Contemporary collections, assisting period curators with collection research, exhibitions, displays and acquisitions, including contemporary commissions. I oversee changes to period hangs and curate temporary displays. Displays I have curated include: Keir Hardie: Radical, Socialist, Feminist (see blog); Aubrey Beardsley: Artist and Aesthete (see blog), William Gifford Palgrave: Master of Disguise and Wise, Constant and Courageous: Millicent Garrett Fawcett, Thomas J Price: Now You See Me. I have assisted on the exhibition Giacometti: Pure Presence and the displays Jack Smith: Abstract Portraits (see blog) and Friendship Portraits: Chantal Joffe and Ishbel Myerscough. I also contribute to the Gallery’s public programme of talks and events, answer public enquiries and help to run the Gallery’s public opinion service.


I studied for a BA in Philosophy at the University of Nottingham before completing an MA in Art History, titled Modernism in Britain 1890 – 1970’, at the Courtauld Institute of Art. I have worked for various museums and arts institutions including Dulwich Picture Gallery, Tate Britain, Christie’s Auction House and James Hyman Gallery. I joined the National Portrait Gallery’s Curatorial Department as Assistant Curator in October 2014.

Research interests

My MA covered developments in British art between 1890 and 1970. I am particularly interested in modernism and the post-war period. In my dissertation, titled ‘‘Professions for Women’: three women photographers in Britain 1945-1960’, I explored the artistic output of the photographers Elsbeth Juda, Grace Robertson and Ida Kar, looking at gender and fields of cultural production in Britain during this time. My research interests continue to focus on the art and visual culture of 20th century Britain as well as contemporary British art and portraiture.