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Hugo Chapman joined the department of Prints and Drawings in 1995 after a decade in the Old Master Drawings Department of a London auction house. Previously he studied art history at London University. He was curator of Italian and French drawings before becoming Keeper of Prints and Drawings in August 2011.
The job of Keeper requires the planning and management of the work of a staff of 17 permanent and a number of temporary as well as other part-time staff and volunteers. The department is actively engaged in ensuring that the collection is widely accessible through our Study Room; the loan of works to UK and foreign exhibitions constituting over half the British Museum’s loaned items; our own exhibition programme geared around the study and display of our own holdings; and providing reliable information and good quality images of the prints and drawings from the collection available to a global audience via the collection database online. The department is also actively involved in expanding its collection, especially in the modern and contemporary field, which is largely funded through the support of patrons and donors. The Keeper is also charged with maintaining and developing the department’s long-established reputation for scholarly excellence in the study of the graphic arts.
He was the curator of a Michelangelo drawings exhibition shown in the British Museum in 2006 and the co-curator, along with Marzia Faietti, of the 2010 exhibition shown in the Round Reading Room devoted to 15th century Italian drawings selected from the holdings in the British Museum and the Uffizi, Florence; the exhibition was shown in Florence in the spring of 2011.
Upgrading the French drawing records
Curator of ‘Michelangelo Drawings: Closer to the Master'
Co-Curator ‘Italian Renaissance drawings from Fra Angelico to Leonardo’
H. Chapman, Padua in the 1450s, Marco Zoppo and his Contemporaries (British Museum Press, 1998 ) (British Museum exhibition catalogue)
H. Chapman, Correggio and Parmigianino, Master Draughtsmen of the Renaissance, with C. Bambach, M. Clayton, G. Goldner, (British Museum Press, 2000-1) (British Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York exhibition catalogue)
H. Chapman, Raphael from Urbino to Rome, with C. Plazzotta, T. Henry, (National Gallery Company, London, 2004) (National Gallery exhibition catalogue)
H. Chapman, Michelangelo Drawings: Closer to the Master (British Museum Press, 2005) (British Museum exhibition catalogue)
H. Chapman, Michelangelo (British Museum Press, 2006)