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Lucy Dahlsen

Lucy Dahlsen

Associate Curator, 20th Century - Contemporary

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Job description

I work on the Gallery’s 20th century and contemporary exhibitions, displays and collections, including acquisitions and contemporary commissions. I am currently curating the Gallery’s forthcoming exhibition Elizabeth Peyton: Aire and Angels and a forthcoming display of portraits by Cy Twombly. Previous exhibitions and displays include Njideka Akunyili Crosby: "The Beautyful Ones", 2018-9 (Lead Curator), Michael Jackson: On the Wall, 2018 (Co-Curator), Samuel Fosso: Self Portraits, 2017 (Lead Curator), Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends, 2017 (Assistant Curator), Luc Tuymans: Glasses, 2016-7 (Co-Curator), Thomas J Price: Now You See Me, 2016 (Lead Curator), Lucian Freud: Unseen, 2016 (Assistant Curator), Picasso Portraits, 2016 (Assistant Curator), Giacometti: Pure Presence, 2015-6 (Assistant Curator), Leon Golub Powerplay: The Political Portraits-, 2015 (Assistant Curator), Friendship Portraits: Chantal Joffe and Ishbel Myerscough, 2015 (Assistant Curator), Jack Smith: Abstract Portraits, 2015 (Lead Curator), and the annual BP Portrait Award exhibitions. 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 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 in October 2014.

Research interests

My research interests focus on 20th century and contemporary art and visual culture. My MA covered developments in British art between 1890 and 1970. My dissertation explored the artistic output of women photographers during the post war period, looking at gender and fields of cultural production in Britain.