Karen Quinlan has been appointed as the new director of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia in Canberra.
Currently Quinlan is the director of the Bendigo Art Gallery, a role she has filled for the last 18 years. Prior to taking the top job at Bendigo she worked at the gallery as a curator. In addition, Quinlan is an arts educator with extensive experience. She is also currently a professor at the La Trobe Art Institute, La Trobe University.
“I am looking at the future of the NPGA with confidence and ambition. I am drawn to its uniqueness, its narrative and its collection, both visually and philosophically,” Quinlan said. “It is one of a kind! It celebrates our success, our inventiveness, our artistry, our cleverness as a nation and our identity. It must continue to collect works that symbolise the breadth and depth of Australian life.”
Chairman of the NPGA Dr Helen Nugent AO said, “We are thrilled by Karen’s appointment. She will build on and deepen the NPGA’s commitment to reflecting what it means to be an Australian.”
When announcing the appointment, Nugent also acknowledged the legacy of the outgoing director Angus Trumble. “Mr Trumble has significantly enhanced the reputation of the Gallery through his ability to engage with audiences and his characteristic flair,” she said. “We are in his debt.”
Quinlan will take up her role as director of the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) on 10 December 2018.