Courtney J. Martin named Director of Yale Center for British Art

NEW HAVEN, CT (April 10, 2019)—Courtney J. Martin, Yale PhD 2009, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of Dia Art Foundation, will be the next director of the Yale Center for British Art, President Peter Salovey announced today.

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Courtney J. Martin,” Salovey said. “An esteemed scholar of historical and contemporary art, she will use her extensive experience in research, teaching, and curation to further infuse the arts into the university’s work and shape the Center’s leadership in the field of British art.”

Martin is familiar with Yale, having earned her doctorate in history of art from the university. As a graduate student, she contributed substantially to the Center’s award-winning exhibition Art and Emancipation in Jamaica in 2007. Her dissertation on British art and artists in the 1970s will soon be published as a book.

Before pursuing her PhD, Martin worked in the media, arts, and culture unit of the Ford Foundation in New York City. After receiving her doctorate, she conducted research and taught at Vanderbilt University and then joined the faculty of Brown University where she fostered understanding and appreciation of art, while using the work of artists to launch conversations and inspire discoveries across disciplines.

In 2015, Martin joined Dia—a nonprofit organization that supports and presents commissions, exhibitions, and site-specific installations—as adjunct curator for an exhibition of the American painter Robert Ryman at Dia:Chelsea. In 2017, she became the deputy director and chief curator at Dia, where she oversees a complex operation that includes acquisitions, exhibitions, programming, research, and publications.

“With her love of Yale and extensive experience in teaching, research, and leading projects at museums, Courtney is committed to providing outstanding educational opportunities for our students, scholarly material for our faculty, and enriching experiences for the thousands of visitors that enjoy the Center every year,” Salovey said. “She is attentive to the core collection of seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and mid-nineteenth-century art as well as modern and contemporary British art. I know that she will deftly guide the Center’s ever-increasing international prominence in the years ahead.”

Salovey praised current Center Director Amy Meyers, who will retire on June 30 after a seventeen-year tenure, “for making the Center one of the foremost destinations in the world for the study of British art and culture and an integral part of Yale and our home city.”

“The center has an amazing wealth of resources, not the least of which is its Louis Kahn building. I am so pleased to be returning to the Center and to New Haven,” said Martin. “Amy Meyers has expertly stewarded the collection for nearly 20 years. I look forward to further developing the many enagaging exhibitions, publications, and programs that have earned the center its international acclaim.”

Salovey expressed appreciation to the members of the search committee: Ruth Yeazell, Sterling Professor of English and the committee’s chair; Timothy Barringer, the Paul Mellon Professor in the History of Art; Edward Cooke, the Charles F. Montgomery Professor of the History of Art; Anoka Faruqee, Director of Graduate Studies in Painting /Printmaking at the Yale School of Art; Susan Gibbons, the Stephen F. Gates ’68 University Librarian; Pericles Lewis, Vice President for Global Strategy and Deputy Provost for International Affairs; Ian McClure, the Susan Morse Hilles Chief Conservator of the Yale University Art Gallery; and Keith Wrightson, the Randolph W. Townsend Jr. Professor of History.

About the Yale Center for British Art

The Center is a museum that houses the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom, encompassing works in a range of media from the fifteenth century to the present. It offers exhibitions and programs year-round, including lectures, concerts, films, symposia, tours, and family events. Opened to the public in 1977, the Center’s core collection and landmark building—designed by architect Louis I. Kahn—were a gift to Yale University from the collector and philanthropist Paul Mellon. It is free and open to all. Visit the Center online at, and connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube @yalebritishart.

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