The National Gallery of Canada has appointed a new curator of Canadian art, Katerina Atanassova. Atanassova fills the vacancy left by respected long-time curator Charles Hill, who is retiring from the gallery in October.
Atanassova is a curator, art historian and museum administrator specializing in historic and contemporary Canadian art. For the past five years, she has worked at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario, where she is director of exhibitions and chief curator. She will take up her position at the National Gallery on December 1.
“We are excited to have a scholar of the caliber of Katerina Atanassova joining our curatorial team,” said NGC director and CEO Marc Mayer in a release. “She comes with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field of Canadian art, together with an international perspective. She also has a drive to broaden the appeal of historical Canadian art to diverse audiences.”
Atanassova will be charged with developing the national collections of Canadian painting, sculpture, prints and drawings, and decorative arts, dating up to 1980. She will make new acquisitions, organize exhibitions, head up the re-installation of the permanent collection of Canadian art, and direct the department of Canadian art.
Atanassova’s recent shows include “You Are Here: Kim Dorland and the Return to Painting” at the McMichael. Her “F.H. Varley: Portraits Into the Light” also received positive notice at Library and Archives Canada in 2007.
In addition, Atanassova was co-curator of the exhibition “Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven,” organized by London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada. “Painting Canada” was a hit in Europe, where 100,000 visitors saw it in London and more than 50,000 in Groningen, Netherlands.
Atanassova is a Ph.D. candidate and adjunct instructor at York University, Department of Visual Arts and Culture, where she is studying the emergence of urban culture in Canada from the late 19th to early 20th centuries. She holds an M.A. in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto and a B.A. in History and Art from the University of Sofia, in her native Bulgaria.