Major coup for the arts in Cheshire as Dr. Catherine Pütz joins CVA Board

Chester Visual Arts is delighted to announce that Dr. Catherine Pütz has joined its Board of Trustees.

Dr. Pütz is a museum professional with over 20 years’ experience in senior management roles within the UK’s premier museums. In 2020 she headed up the Brunel Museum as HLF funded emergency Director, devising new engagement, communications and business planning strategies. Currently she is acting as consultant to the Foundling Museum in London, the UK’s first public art gallery.

From 2014 to 2020, Dr. Pütz ran the Victoria and Albert Museum’s pioneering national and international exhibition touring programme, setting up major new partnerships. She championed CVA’s vision to establish a creative visual arts centre in Chester and was instrumental in building the partnership work between CVA and V&A, which has brought the acclaimed touring exhibitions ‘Pop Art in Print’, ‘Woman’s Hour Craft Prize’ and ‘Chance and Control: Art in the Age of Computers’ to Chester.

Dr. Pütz’s appointment is part of a major step change for CVA and brings international expertise and experience to the visual arts in Chester at a crucial time. CVA is developing its artistic and education strategies for later in 2021 and beyond, while exploring new ways of supporting Chester’s cultural scene and regional artists during the pandemic.

Ian Short, Chairman of Chester Visual Arts, said:

“We are truly delighted to welcome Dr. Pütz to CVA’s Board of Trustees. Since first meeting Catherine, she has firmly understood what we are working towards in Chester. Her personal support and enthusiasm over the past few years has enabled us to bring world-class exhibitions to over 50,000 people. Catherine’s outstanding expertise and international experience will be invaluable in helping CVA grow and fulfil our ambitions, as well as invigorating the delivery of visual arts experience and education in the region.”

Dr. Catherine Pütz added:

“I am delighted to reconnect with my roots in the North West, and to support Chester Visual Arts in bringing the most exciting contemporary work to our local audiences in a way that fosters creativity and gives agency to our communities.”

Image credit: Dr. Catherine Pütz, courtesy of Simon Thompson Communications.

Dr. Catherine Pütz – Biography

Dr. Catherine Pütz has over two decades’ experience as a senior museum professional, building exhibition, engagement and partnership strategies for institutions of the highest international status. Before studying for a doctorate at the Courtauld Institute of Art in the late 1990s, and then publishing widely on modernist sculpture, her academic life started at Cambridge University with Modern Languages. Originally from the North West, her part-Austrian, part-Italian heritage has meant that Catherine especially relished working with museum colleagues around the world in ambitious exhibition partnerships showcasing the most iconic international collections, the very latest research, and the most exciting digital engagement strategies.

As Head of Exhibitions at the National Gallery, she forged highly successful partnerships with her peers at the Metropolitan Museum (Gossaert), the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Delacroix) and the Rijksmuseum (Late Rembrandt) to present ground-breaking projects that celebrated the richest of visual art traditions. She has been especially active during her 6 years as Head of V&A Touring exhibitions in presenting the fruits of these many collaborations to professional networks from the IEO/International Exhibitions Organisation to ICAM/The International Confederation of Architecture Museums, as also in enabling the V&A’s new initiatives from Dundee to China.

Throughout her career, she has also made a significant contribution to developing new smaller public spaces for art, including opening the first RIBA public gallery at the Portland Place HQ and building new strategy to reopen the Brunel Museum Rotherhithe in 2020. From her time as the Courtauld Gallery’s first Collections Registrar she has remained hands-on, especially in developing gallery procedures and sustainable visitor facing events programmes. As the arts sector has become more business-like, so the experiences from her previous publishing career (BBC Enterprises; Reed Publishing; the Economist newspaper) have come more into the frame, and she has a track record of building new revenue streams into her public programmes.

Her passion however is above all for delivering accessible arts programming for local communities. She acts as a consultant to London’s Foundling Museum, the UK’s first public art gallery, and is building a new local support network in West London around the therapeutic benefits of poetry and performance. While at the V&A she ran a dynamic national touring programme that reached venues large and small in every corner of the UK, and she embraces the new values-driven ethos that connects makers and their communities around art, well-being and the power of our art spaces to give agency.