Our Curator

Beth Greenacre

Beth Greenacre has been curating and directing The Sunderland Collection Art Programme since its inception. She has a great sensitivity and respect for the artistic process and for individual artists’ journeys.

Beth’s experience is across histories and geographies. She works very closely with artists, and is mindful of both their legacy and the legacy of cultural heritage in general.

Curating The Sunderland Collection Art Programme

I have always gravitated to art, art history and artists as a way of understanding our world around us, and as a means of looking at the world from different perspectives and so when I was invited to curate an art programme in response to the The Sunderland Collection I was immensely excited about the possibilities. Who better to invite to engage with a world-class collection of maps, that by definition enable the understanding of things, concepts, conditions, processes, or events in the human world, than artists?

The Sunderland Collection, Art Programme invites artists to spend time and to engage with, and respond to, the objects that have been collected with care and integrity for over 35 years. Timing is everything, and today we find ourselves in a moment when intercultural understanding and respect is of crucial importance. The decision to provide access to the collection and in return to open up conversations around themes, such as globalisation, identity, and nationhood is vital.

Similarly it has been incredibly exciting to watch artists responses when first viewing the maps, weather that be to the artistry and processes, to the materials or the historical moments in which they were made. As the Art Programme unfolds I am excited to work with emerging and established artists alike, working across mediums and processes and to support their enquiries into the treasures within The Sunderland Collection.

The experience, I hope will not only build capacity for cultural awareness, but also our own understanding of the collection. I am excited about sharing the content with as wide an audience as possible on the digital home of the collection and through partnerships with others. Similarly I hope that the artist’s responses to the Collection enable us all to look at the outstanding objects of cultural and historical importance, and consider the legacy of the collection, afresh.


Beth Greenacre is an art advisor, curator and consultant working with private clients, family offices and corporate collections. Beth builds art collections with personal, cultural and critical meaning as well as market significance. Soon after graduating from The Courtauld Institute of Art, Beth Greenacre became the curator of the David Bowie collection.

As well as co-curating numerous exhibitions with Bowie, she oversaw the sale of selected work from his collection at Sotheby’s in 2016. From 2000, Greenacre was Director of Bowieart, an online platform to support young emerging artists. From 2004 to 2017 she was co-director of ROKEBY, a commercial gallery in London. Greenacre is curator of The AllBright, Chairperson of the Courtauld Alumni Committee, sits on the Executive Committee of The Association of Women in the Arts and is an Advisory Board member of She CURAtes: The Residency.