Harewood House Trust has announced Darren Pih as its first Chief Curator and Artistic Director.
In this new role, Pih will lead the charity’s exhibition programme, and care for the museum’s collection of painting, decorative interiors, furniture and porcelain.
The charity maintains and develops Leeds-based Harewood, its collections and grounds including Harewood House, for the public.
Pih joins the Trust from Tate Liverpool after a 16 year stint as its Exhibitions and Displays Curator, having toured exhibitions for Tate Liverpool around the world, and commissioned new works.
The Trust said Pih’s work will further Harewood’s purpose to “make heritage relevant, using the collections and landscape to help shape a more sustainable world, unlock people’s creativity and enrich lives.”
Harewood’s own recent programming includes the Harewood Biennial, its new Craft Spotlight and Open History series designed to address equality, diversity and inclusion, and modern social and environmental issues.
Trustee of Harewood House Trust Iwona Blazwick OBE said of the new appointment: “Pih’s deep engagement with modern and contemporary art will bring a dynamic new perspective to Harewood, connecting its distinguished history of arts patronage with the present. I can’t wait to see what his curatorial vision will contribute – not only to Harewood’s great legacy but the wider Yorkshire art scene”.
Trust Director Jane Marriott added: “‘This role epitomises our ambitions to reimagine the country house for the 21st century with bold, exciting and innovative programming. Darren brings a thoughtful approach and excellent track record, in combining the care of historic collections with the work of contemporary artists, in order to develop our ambitions as a charity and museum.”
Pih’s first major exhibition under his curatorial lead will be Harewood’s second Craft Spotlight, to be announced later this year, and a Harewood ‘year of play’ to coincide with Leeds 2023 celebrations.
On his appointment, he said: “I am delighted to be joining Harewood and contributing to its ambitions by leading its exhibitions programme. Harewood and its history make it a unique site for presenting art and ideas that engage with many of the most urgent issues of our time, including environmental responsibility, colonialism and social inclusion.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to create new knowledge around its collections, by bringing contemporary and modern art into dialogue with the heritage and history of Harewood.”