Belfast Telegraph

Sir Charles Saumarez Smith to step down from Royal Academy of Arts

He has been in the role since 2007.

Sir Charles Saumarez Smith is stepping down as secretary and chief executive of the Royal Academy of Arts after 11 years.

He will depart the organisation at the end of the year after overseeing exhibitions that included From Russia, Anish Kapoor, the first of the major contemporary shows and David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture, which broke all records.

More recently there has been Anselm Kiefer, Ai Weiwei, Abstract Expressionism and Charles I: King and Collector.

He said: “I have been at the RA for 11 very interesting, rewarding and creative years in which there have been many changes, from the renovation of the Keeper’s House in 2013 to the magnificent redevelopment of Burlington Gardens for the RA’s 250th anniversary this year.

“The RA is a very distinctive place and I have enjoyed working closely with the staff, artists and the two presidents, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw PPRA and Christopher Le Brun PRA.

“There is never a good time to announce one’s departure, but I wanted to leave at a time of obvious strength and success.”

Mr Le Brun said: “Charles has a natural sympathy for the painters, sculptors, printmakers and architects that make up the membership of the Royal Academy, and possesses the unique ability to move with equal authority in the worlds of art, design, scholarship, exhibitions, administration and fundraising.

“I am proud to have had him alongside me during my presidency, assisting us to renew and fully realise the potential of the modern Royal Academy.

“His tenure is marked by great achievement, for which the Academicians, our staff and supporters are immensely grateful. History is likely to judge him as the most successful of all Royal Academy secretaries.”

Sir Charles will take up a new role as senior director at art gallery Blain|Southern and recruitment for a new secretary and chief executive will begin in September.

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