How to Curate an Exhibition

  • Inside the Gallery How To Courses Whitechapel Gallery 2017

    The London Open 2015; installation view at Whitechapel Gallery. Photo Dan Weilill

Past Event

This event was on Fri 17 Feb 2017, 10am–5pm

This course is now fully booked. Due to popular demand, there will be another“How to Curate an Exhibition” course on 31 March 2017. Find out more 

This session tackles the multifaceted role of the curator in organising exhibitions: we look at different curatorial settings and formats (institutional v independent), defining theoretical concerns alongside more practical project management advice, with logistical and registrar procedure.

Part of the Whitechapel Gallery Inside the Gallery: How to course series.

What you will learn:

  • The Role of the Curator
  • Curating in Context: Models and Methodologies
  • Exhibition Organising and Logistics
  • Commissioning Artists
  • Developing Exhibition Proposals and Communicating Ideas


Course leaders:

  • Lydia Yee – Chief Curator, Whitechapel Gallery
  • Emily Butler – Mahera and Mohammad Abu Ghazaleh Curator, Whitechapel Gallery


Event details

Date: Fri 17 February 2017
Time: 10am–5pm
Location: Clore Creative Studio
Lunch and refreshments included

About the course leaders

Lydia Yee 

Lydia Yee has been Chief Curator of Whitechapel Gallery since 2015 and most recently curated Mary Heilmann: Looking at Pictures (2016) and Keith Sonnier: Light Works, 1968–70 (2016). Before that, Yee was Curator at the Barbican Art Gallery, where her exhibitions included Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector (2015), Bauhaus: Art as Life (2013), and Laurie Anderson, Trisha Brown, Gordon Matta-Clark: Pioneers of the Downtown Scene (2011).

She has commissioned works by artists including Cory Arcangel, John Bock, Walead Beshty, Ayşe Erkmen, Geoffrey Farmer, Huang Yong Ping and Shirana Shahbazi, among others.

Yee was formerly Senior Curator at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, where she organised more than twenty exhibitions and collection displays. She was also co-curator of British Art Show 8 (2015–16). 

Emily Butler

Emily Butler is a curator, writer and translator. Currently Mahera and Mohammad Abu Ghazaleh Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, she curates the Artists’ Film International programme and has worked on survey exhibitions such as Electronic Superhighway, 2016, on exhibitions drawn from the collections such as the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the ISelf collection, on commissions by artists such as Rachel Whiteread, 2012 and Kader Attia, 2013-4, and major solo presentations by John Stezaker, Wilhelm Sasnal, 2011 and Hannah Höch, 2014.

Previously, she worked in the Visual Arts Department at the British Council on international touring exhibitions including Tracey Emin at the British Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2007; Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane’s Folk Archive, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2009 and Flicker, Damascus, 2009.

She also edits and contributes to exhibition catalogues and art publications. Independent projects include Reel Portraits screening at the ICA, London, 2013 and participating in the Open Source visual arts festival, London, 2015, and 2016.