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Michael Tooby

Professor

Michael Tooby

2

Personal statement

Mike Tooby is an independent curator and researcher based in Cardiff, Wales.

Mike is Professor of Art and Design at Bath School of Art and Design, Bath Spa University. Other recent academic appointments include: Senior Research Fellow at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 2014-15, and academic advisor to the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, 2015-18. He is international visiting scholar at the School of Art and Design, Australian National University, Canberra, in autumn 2018, and will give the Ursula Hoff Memorial Lecture in curating at the University of Melbourne, October 2018.

His interests lie in integrating the practices often separated in curating in the arts and heritage settings: research, display, promotion, participation and learning. His own practice centres on curating in collaborative or site-specific contexts, where negotiating and celebrating relationships with audiences are at the core of projects.

His most recent work is Journeys with ‘The Waste Land', (2018) a major project for Turner Contemporary Margate, which he co-managed with Dr Trish Scott and a large group of collaborating researchers. It has a revised presentation in Coventry in autumn 2018. He was a member of the Steering Group for the AHRC funded research project Black Art and Modernism, led by Professor Sonia Boyce at UAL, 2015-18. In 2015 Mike curated wavespeech a collaboration by David Ward and Edmund de Waal for Pier Arts Centre Orkney. A book on this project has been published by Wunderkammer Press and Pier Arts Centre. Other publications include Quietus, (2013) surveying the touring exhibition by Julian Stair, and Veronica Ryan, (2018) for Arthouse Wakefield.

Previously Mike was Director, National Museum and Gallery, (2000-2003) and, Director of Learning, Programmes and Development (2003-11), for Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museums Wales).

His projects there included a £6.5m refurbishment and redisplay of the art galleries, natural history galleries and a redisplay of archaeology collections at the National Museum Cardiff. Between 2002 and 2011 he developed an extensive programme of projects with partner galleries, museums and community settings in Wales. He also led the international touring exhibition Turner to Cezanne: Masterpieces from the Davies Collection, shown at five venues in the USA in 2010 and 2011.

Mike chaired the steering group for the first Wales Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2003, was on the steering group for the 2005 Biennale, and served on the Arts Council Wales' advisory committee for Wales at Venice from 2011-16. He was a selector for the Arddangosfa Celf a Crefft, Eisteddfod Genedlaethol 2006.

Since leaving Amgueddfa Cymru in 2011 he has developed a diverse portfolio of projects. He was vice chair of Hineni, a HLF funded community history project about the Reform Judaism synagogue in in Cardiff. He advised the EU Interreg programme network called toolquiz on a transfer report on Norwegian models for participation in the arts by young people in and outside schools.

Mike made three projects in Cardiff's 'Made in Roath' community festival: 'Kelvin Road Mantelpiece' (2011); 'The Museum of Amazing Coincidences' (2012) and ‘Story / Storio’ (2014). Mike curated ‘The Book,’ new work by Richard Higlett and Beth Lewis, Lichfield Cathedral and St Teilo’s Llandeilo for Colm Cille’s Spiral, presented in Derry / Londonderry City of Culture (2013).

In his early career Mike worked as a curator in Cambridge, Glasgow and Sheffield. He was founding curator of Tate St Ives from 1992 to 2000 . He was series editor of the ‘St Ives’ series for Tate Publishing. He co-curated the 1997 project A Quality of Light, and was on the steering group for the 1999 follow-up As Dark As Light.

Mike has a long-standing interest in the curating of ceramics. Throughout his career Mike has also been involved in commissioning new work in dance and music as part of an interdisciplinary approach.

He was chair of engage, the organisation for learning and engagement in visual arts, 1999-2004. He was a member of AHRC's Museums and Galleries Committee, has served on a number of AHRC award panels and is a member of the Peer Review college. He is a Trustee of the Artes Mundi and a member of the library, archive and collection committee for the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

From the 1980s he spent two decades working on early Canadian modernist painting, and has lectured, published and guest-curated exhibitions in the UK and Canada on this subject. He has also brought to the UK projects and exhibitions from Ireland, the United States, France, Portugal, the Republic of Georgia, and Flanders, Belgium. He has taught at art colleges and universities throughout the world.

Teaching specialisms

  • History of art and design
  • Museology
  • Contemporary curatorial practice

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Imagining a university: fifty years of the University of Warwick Art collection
book

Tooby, M and Shalgosky, S, eds. (2015) Imagining a university: fifty years of the University of Warwick Art collection. University of Warwick, Warwick. ISBN 9780957040472


Julian Stair: Quietus reviewed. Archaeology of an exhibition
book

Stair, J and Tooby, M (2014) Julian Stair: Quietus reviewed. Archaeology of an exhibition. Wunderkammer Press, Bath. ISBN 9780956646293


Trevor Bell: Heatscape, the Florida six, Still: the new paintings
book

Tooby, M (2005) Trevor Bell: Heatscape, the Florida six, Still: the new paintings. Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, Bournemouth. ISBN 9780905173757


Colour in space: Patrick Heron: public projects
book

Tooby, M and Feary, J (1999) Colour in space: Patrick Heron: public projects. Tate Gallery St Ives, St Ives. ISBN 9781854372970


Modern home: an intervention by Edmund de Waal at High Cross House
book

Tooby, M and de Waal, E (1999) Modern home: an intervention by Edmund de Waal at High Cross House. Dartington Hall. ISBN 9780902386181


From the interior : selected sculptures 1981-1995 = O'r canol : cerflunia dethol 1981-1995
book

Tooby, M, Daniel, S and Barlow, M (1995) From the interior : selected sculptures 1981-1995 = O'r canol : cerflunia dethol 1981-1995. Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno. ISBN 9780906860298


Tate Gallery St Ives: the building
book

Tooby, M and Shalev, D (1995) Tate Gallery St Ives: the building. Tate Publishing, London. ISBN 9781854371614


Tate Gallery St. Ives, Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden : an illustrated companion
book

Tooby, M (1993) Tate Gallery St. Ives, Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden : an illustrated companion. Tate Gallery Publications, London. ISBN 9781854371188


When forms become attitude: a consideration of the adoption by an artist of ceramic display as narrative device and symbolic landscape
book_section

Tooby, M (2017) 'When forms become attitude: a consideration of the adoption by an artist of ceramic display as narrative device and symbolic landscape.' In: Petrie, K and Livingstone, A, eds. The ceramics reader. Bloomsbury, London, pp. 517-522. ISBN 9781472584427


Veronica Ryan
book_section

Tooby, M (2015) 'Veronica Ryan.' In: Making it: sculpture in Britain 1977–1986. Hayward Publishing. ISBN 9781853323294


Do not call it fixity
book_section

Tooby, M (2015) 'Do not call it fixity.' In: James Hugonin: binary rhythm: paintings 2010-2015. Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, pp. 7-37. ISBN 9780993155130


Many-roomed mansion to theatre of memories: thoughts on artists and museums
book_section

Tooby, M (2014) 'Many-roomed mansion to theatre of memories: thoughts on artists and museums.' In: Nicol, G, ed. Inspired by: your guide to art and the museum. Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, pp. 54-57. ISBN 9780993014208


Simplicity and subject
book_section

Tooby, M (2013) 'Simplicity and subject.' In: William Scott: simplicity and subject. Bath & North East Somerset Council, Bath, pp. 14-23.


Look closely
book_section

Tooby, M (2012) 'Look closely.' In: Kurt Jackson: A New Genre of Landscape Painting. Lund Humphries. ISBN 9781848221024


Rachel Nicholson: critical view
book_section

Tooby, M (2010) 'Rachel Nicholson: critical view.' In: Wilkinson, A, ed. Rachel Nicholson. Sansom & Company, Bristol. ISBN 9781906593469


The master printer
book_section

Tooby, M (2008) 'The master printer.' In: Hughes, S, Clark, M and Fitch, A, eds. Hugh Stoneman: master printer. Tate Publishing, London, pp. 14-24. ISBN 9781854378118


St Ives - is it worth saving?
book_section

Tooby, M (2007) 'St Ives - is it worth saving?' In: The St Ives school 1997-2007. Howard Gardens Gallery, Cardiff, pp. 7-12. ISBN 9780955477805


Where does the museum end?
book_section

Tooby, M (2006) 'Where does the museum end?' In: Lang, C, Reeve, J and Woollard, V, eds. The responsive museum : working with audiences in the twenty-first century. Ashgate Publishing Limited, pp. 137-150. ISBN 9780754645603


Trevor Bell
book_section

Tooby, M (2003) 'Trevor Bell.' In: Trevor Bell: a British painter in America. Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts. ISBN 9781889282145


Towards a study of Terry Setch
book_section

Tooby, M (2001) 'Towards a study of Terry Setch.' In: Tooby, M and Holman, M, eds. Terry Setch: a retrospective. Howard Gardens Gallery, pp. 9-33. ISBN 9780951577790


Light the blue touch paper
book_section

Tooby, M (2000) 'Light the blue touch paper.' In: Gage, J and Tooby, M, eds. Blue: borrowed and new. The New Art Gallery, Walsall, pp. 10-12. ISBN 9780946652525


Iwan Bala
book_section

Tooby, M (2000) 'Iwan Bala.' In: Offerings and reinventions. Seren. ISBN 9781854112804


A working environment
book_section

Tooby, M (2000) 'A working environment.' In: David Nash: chwarel goed = wood quarry. Centre for Visual Arts, Cardiff. ISBN 9781903212042


The same subject: sources and origins
book_section

Tooby, M (1998) 'The same subject: sources and origins.' In: Morley, S and Tooby, M, eds. William Scott: paintings and drawings. Merrell Publishers Ltd.


Peter Randall-Page
book_section

Tooby, M (1998) 'Peter Randall-Page.' In: Whistling in the dark : Peter Randall-Page, drawings and prints 1983-98. Tivoli Gallery, Ljubljana.


Interpreting and learning
article

Tooby, M (2014) 'Interpreting and learning.' Engage (35). pp. 34-40. ISSN 1365-9383


Order and disorder: Some relationships between ceramics, sculpture and museum taxonomies
article

Tooby, M (2012) 'Order and disorder: Some relationships between ceramics, sculpture and museum taxonomies.' Interpreting Ceramics, 14. ISSN 1471-146X


Home and away: collections abroad
article

Tooby, M (2011) 'Home and away: collections abroad.' Engage, 28.


More than skin deep: the new Art Gallery of Ontario
article

Tooby, M (2009) 'More than skin deep: the new Art Gallery of Ontario.' Museum Practice, 45. pp. 18-23. ISSN 1359-771X


St Ives and Cardiff: two experiences of cultural tourism
article

Tooby, M (2006) 'St Ives and Cardiff: two experiences of cultural tourism.' Nexus (35). pp. 178-183. ISSN 1575-0876


A journey with T. S. Eliot’s 'The Waste Land'
conference_item

Tooby, M, Smith, R and O’ Keeffe, D (2015) A journey with T. S. Eliot’s 'The Waste Land'. In: Ilkley Literature Festival, 8 October 2015, Ilkley Playhouse, Ilkley, UK.


Another side of Stanley Royle
conference_item

Tooby, M (2015) Another side of Stanley Royle. In: Lunchtime Talk Series, 29 April 2015, Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, UK.


Engaging young people in the arts in Norway and Wales
commissioned_report

Tooby, M (2012) Engaging young people in the arts in Norway and Wales. ACW - WAI /Toolquiz Grundtvig network.


Journeys with 'The Waste Land' [curator]
exhibition

Tooby, M (2018) Journeys with 'The Waste Land' [curator]. Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK, 3 February - 7 May 2018.


wavespeech [curator]
exhibition

Tooby, M (2015) wavespeech [curator]. The Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Scotland, 20 June - 12 September 2015.


Storio - store
exhibition

Tooby, M (2014) Storio - store. In: Settlement, Spit and Sawdust Skatepark, Cafe and Artspace, Roath, Cardiff, 17 October 2014.


At the mad shepherdess
exhibition

Tooby, M (2013) At the mad shepherdess. In: Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography., Chapter, Cardiff, 12 - 19 May 2013.


William Scott: Simplicity and Subject
exhibition

Tooby, M (2013) William Scott: Simplicity and Subject. Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, UK, 7 September - 17 November 2013.


The Museum of Amazing Coincidences
exhibition

Tooby, M (2012) The Museum of Amazing Coincidences. In: Made in Roath, Cardiff, UK, October 2012.


Kelvin Road mantelpiece
exhibition

Tooby, M (2011) Kelvin Road mantelpiece. In: Made in Roath, Cardiff, 2011.


National Museum and Gallery, Cardiff: complete redisplay of art galleries, representation of natural history gallery and learning spaces
exhibition

Tooby, M (2008) National Museum and Gallery, Cardiff: complete redisplay of art galleries, representation of natural history gallery and learning spaces. National Museum Wales, Cardiff, UK, 2008.


A Quality Of Light: A Collaborative Visual Arts Event
exhibition

Tooby, M (1997) A Quality Of Light: A Collaborative Visual Arts Event. Tate Gallery St Ives, May - July 1997. ISBN 095307000X


A journey with 'The waste land'
other

Tooby, M and Scott, T (2016) A journey with 'The waste land'. Arts & Education (8). pp. 8-9.


When forms become attitude: a consideration of the adoption by an artist of ceramic display as narrative device and symbolic landscape
other

Tooby, M (2012) When forms become attitude: a consideration of the adoption by an artist of ceramic display as narrative device and symbolic landscape. Ceramics in the Expanded Field: Behind the Scenes at the Museum.


When forms become attitude - a consideration of the adoption by an artist of ceramic display as narrative device and symbolic landscape
other

Tooby, M (2012) When forms become attitude - a consideration of the adoption by an artist of ceramic display as narrative device and symbolic landscape. Behind the Scenes at the Museum : ceramics in the expanded field, 2012 (2012).


Edmund de Waal: the hare with amber eyes [book review]
other

Tooby, M (2010) Edmund de Waal: the hare with amber eyes [book review]. Interpreting Ceramics (12). ISSN 1471-146X


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