Luke Syson

English art historian and curator

Luke Syson is an English museum curator and art historian. Since 2019, he has been the director of the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge, prior to which he held positions at the British Museum (1991–2002), the Victoria and Albert Museum (2002–2003), the National Gallery (2003–2012) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2015–2019). In 2011 he curated the highly acclaimed Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at the National Gallery: Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan. That same year, he played a pivotal role in the controversial authentication of the Salvator Mundi, which remains disputed.

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Career

Syson received a Bachelor of Arts from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London and would continue studying there for 3 years in the PhD program; his focus was on the 15th-century royal portraiture of Milan, Ferrara, and Mantua. His first professional positions was as the curator of medals at the British Museum from 1991 to 2002. Towards the end of his tenure, he served as co-curater for the Pisanello: Painter to the Renaissance Court exhibition in 2001 and co-created a new permanent gallery: "Enlightenment: Discovering the World in the Eighteenth Century", which opened in 2003. From 2002 to 2003 he subsequently served as a senior curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where had a leading role in creating the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries.

He joined the National Gallery in 2003, where he was the head of research and curator of Italian Paintings before 1500. At the National Gallery, Syson led a successful effort in obtaining Raphael's Madonna of the Pinks. Syson was the curator of the Renaissance Siena: Art for a City exhibition in 2007....read more

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