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Ian A C Dejardin, Sackler Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery, to join McMichael Canadian Art Collection

After 19 years at Dulwich Picture Gallery, 12 of them as its Sackler Director, Ian A C Dejardin will be leaving to join the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario as its Chief Executive in April 2017.

Ian Dejardin said:

“I feel extraordinarily lucky and privileged to have worked at Dulwich Picture Gallery these last 19 years, first as Curator, then as the Sackler Director. To me, this glorious Gallery occupies a remarkable place in the cultural landscape of this country. Its current reputation as an oasis of calm contemplation and revelatory inspiration has been the result of the passionate belief and commitment of all its staff.  I leave the Gallery after a record year which welcomed an unprecedented 226,000 visitors to experience exhibitions, learning, and public programming of the highest standard that all felt uniquely ‘Dulwich.’ There is nowhere quite like it in the world, and I am proud to have been part of its long story. I will leave at a moment when the Gallery is preparing to celebrate 200 years since the first visitor crossed the threshold. I wish my successor all the best as they take on what I have always believed to be one of the greatest jobs in this country’s museum sector”

During Dejardin’s tenure the Gallery has developed an increasingly strong reputation for its exhibition programme including the rediscovery of Modern British artists, the presentation of artists famous abroad but neglected in the UK, and a re-look at well-known names from new perspectives. Before his departure in February 2017 Ian Dejardin will welcome in a stellar line-up of exhibitions for 2017, starting with Vanessa Bell (of which he is co-curator), along with an expanding public programme to celebrate two hundred years since the Gallery opened to the public.

Dejardin will join the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in April 2017. Renowned for collecting only Canadian art, the permanent collection consists of almost 6,000 artworks by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, their contemporaries, and First Nations, Métis, Inuit and other artists who have made a contribution to the development of Canadian art. This is an exciting move for Dejardin whose passion for Canadian art has developed during his time at the Gallery as Curator of 2011’s Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven followed by a second in the Gallery’s Canadian series, Emily Carr: From the Forest to the Sea in 2014.

Chairman of Trustees, Simon Freakley, said:

“Ian Dejardin has been an outstanding Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery firmly positioning the institution as a leader in world-class and surprising exhibitions. His knowledge of the collection and its history is second to none and his connection with the Gallery we hope will continue in the years to come. The Board of Trustees will be working with the Gallery to appoint a new Sackler Director, a position that presents huge opportunities to continue to grow and maximise the potential of this historic place starting with its 200th year of opening to the public.”


Notes to Editors:

The institution Ian Dejardin leaves in 2017 has:

  • A trajectory of growth with numbers increasing from 98,000 in 2004/5 to 220,000 in 2015/16.

  • Over 35,000 participants taking part in its learning and outreach programmes each year.

  • An internationally acclaimed exhibitions programme including recent successes Hockney, Printmaker;Ravilious: Watercolours;The Amazing World of M.C.Escher; and Nikolai Astrup: Painting Norway.

  • A programme of international lending from its collection across the world.

  • An expanding programme of contemporary artistic responses to its permanent collection including dance and music commissions.

  • Recently placed no. 2 of ‘the best small museums in the UK’ by The Times.


Ian A C Dejardin is an art historian and museum professional. He succeeded Desmond Shawe-Taylor as Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery in 2005 having held the position of Curator at the Gallery from 1998. Ian A C Dejardin is an expert on the Gallery’s permanent collection of European Old Master paintings. Ian curated Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven (2010) and co-curated Henry Moore (2004) and Emily Carr: From the Forest to the Sea (2014). He has organised numerous other exhibitions for the Gallery and authored the Gallery’s publication, Director’s Choice, published by Scala.

Ian A C Dejardin holds an MA (Hons) in History of Art from the University of Edinburgh. He completed a postgraduate Diploma in Art Gallery and Museum Studies at Manchester University. He started his career as a curatorial assistant at the Royal Academy of Arts, then spent seven years with English Heritage, firstly as Senior Curator of Paintings for the London Region, responsible for, amongst others, the collection at Kenwood House; then as Head of Historic Team.

For further information, contact:

Ellie Manwell, Head of Communications and Audience Development / 02082998711