Edmund Capon resigns from AGNSW - Art Collector

5 August 2011 | After 33 years, Edmund Capon has announced his resignation as director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. He will depart at the end of the Picasso exhibition, which is anticipated to be one of the most major exhibitions Capon has secured for the gallery.

A successor has yet to be decided although an international recruitment process is now in train.

“Edmund’s achievements are many, but his single most significant achievement has been to make good on the goal he set for the gallery soon after he was appointed in 1978,” said Stephen Lowy, president of the AGNSW’s board of trustees, at a press conference in Sydney announcing Capon’s retirement.

“Back then, Edmund made it clear he wanted the gallery to pursue quality and not, to use his words at the time, ‘a broad expansion of all areas at a mediocre level. As we look around the gallery today, and reflect on all that has happened under Edmund’s leadership, there can be no doubt that he has more than fulfilled that early ambition.”

Lowy also pointed to several of Capon’s more notable achievements, among them the creation of a sustainable funding base for the gallery, and the acquisitions of Cezanne’s
Bords de la Marne and Picasso’s Nude in a Rocking Chair. During his tenure Capon has tripled the size of the gallery’s collection from 10,000 to more than 30,000 works.

“It is fitting that we are able to coincide Edmund’s departure from the gallery with the upcoming Picasso exhibition,” said Lowy, “a stellar exhibition for Edmund to sign off on a stellar career.”

Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris will run from 12 November 2011 to 25 March 2012.

Jane O'Sullivan

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