New Director of the Power Institute in 2011

25 January 2011

The Power Institute will continue to grow under the leadership of a prominent new Director, Professor Mark Ledbury.

Professor Ledbury takes up this position from Acting Chair of the Power Institute, Dr Catriona Moore.

Professor Ledbury said he is "honoured and delighted" to be in his new position, and looks forward to the challenges presented in fulfilling Dr Power's founding vision for the Institute to "make available to the people of Australia the latest ideas and theories in plastic arts".

He anticipates working towards this mission as Director through ensuring continued support of the research, publications and intellectual life of the "extremely strong" Department of Art History and Film Studies, citing such Power publications as John Clark's recent Asian Modernities as testament to the outstanding depth of research in the faculty and of the Institute's commitment to publishing important works.

"Such publications contribute in so many ways to cultural life, help support teaching at all levels, and create the basis for the intellectual formation of new generations of art historians," Professor Ledbury said.

Professor Ledbury also plans to bring art ideas to a wider Australian audience through an active program of public lectures, conferences and other Institute events.

"I hope that the Power can become a space of genuine and vibrant intellectual encounter with art for a public well beyond the University," he said.

After completing his degrees at the University of Cambridge and the University of Sussex, Professor Ledbury took up his first academic post as lecturer in Cultural History at the University of Portsmouth.

He then moved to the University of Manchester where he was lecturer in Art History, until he joined the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 2003, as Associate Director of Research.

In that role, he developed and implemented a host of new programs, workshops and collaborations, helping to establish the Clark among the a premier research centres for art history and visual studies, and extend its reach internationally.

Professor Ledbury will bring this international perspective to his new role, working to cement the links and networks that bind the Power Institute not only to the national art world in Australia but to the many global centres of art history and art ideas such as museums, universities, institutes and spaces of art creation.

"I am committed to the Power as a space of exploration of the importance and excitement of art - the aesthetic impulses it taps, the rich engagement with society, politics and culture which it so often creates, and the vital role it plays and must continue to play in human life," he said.

Established by a bequest from Dr John Joseph Wardell Power in 1968, the Power Institute brings together important research, scholarship and public education in the arts and art history in Australia.

Apart from supporting publications and scholarship, the Power Institute also assists the development of the Schaeffer Fine Arts Library, which is one of the largest art reference libraries in Australia with some 22,000 books and exhibition catalogues and 4,000 bound journal volumes available.

The Power also conducts public events, and houses a significant collection of books and images to help promote the Fine Arts in Australia to the wider community and the world.

Contact: Julia Ossino

Phone: 02 9036 6496

Email: 2d03163e131e072a1d3b29032d381135220813782d081d745738