New National Gallery Director Penny nixes blockbuster shows

Nicholas Penny, the new director of London’s National Gallery, said yesterday that the 184-year-old institution had a duty to display art with which the public is unfamiliar rather than yet another parade of a famous artist�s greatest hits. The Times art correspondent Dalya Alberge speaks with Penny about the forthcoming exhibition of the Italian Divisionists. “Dr Penny, who took up his post last week, said that 20 years ago people expected exhibitions to introduce them to new art. Too many blockbusters today show people images that they already know. ‘The responsibility of a major gallery is to show people something they haven�t seen before,’Penny said. ‘A major national institution should be one that proves a constant attraction to the public. What is important is encouraging historical and visual curiosity in the general public.'” Read more. The Italian Divisionists were featured in New York at the Metropolitan Museum last year. 40 paintings, including work by Giovanni Segantini, Angelo Morbelli, Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo, and Emilio Longoni were presented.

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