English visual artist Tracey Emin will join the British Museum‘s Board of Trustees, making history in the process.
The museum’s announcement on November 15 noted “Emin will be the first female Royal Academician appointed to the role in the Museum’s history.” Royal Academicians are professionally active contemporary artists and architects under the age of 75 who have been elected as members of the Royal Academy of Arts. Emin was elected in 2007, the same year she represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennale. She will replace the contemporary artist, writer, and broadcaster Grayson Perry as a museum trustee nominated by the Royal Academy.
British Museum chair George Osborne called Emin one of Britain’s greatest artists. “Having regenerated her hometown through her will power, I know she will bring incredible energy, insight and creativity to the Board,” he said in a statement. “We are delighted to have her join us.”
Emin said the institution was one of her favorite museums in the entire world. “I love everything Egyptian,” she said in a press statement. “I’m very proud to be a trustee and I hope my presence will be a positive contribution.”
Prior to being named a trustee of the British Museum, the London-born artist studied at Maidstone College of Art and the Royal College of Art. Emin’s works include painting, neon signage, drawing, video, installation, as well as photography, needlework and sculpture.
She became a professor of drawing at the Royal Academy of Arts in 2011, and was appointed a Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013.
Despite the Turner Prize nominee’s experience with bladder cancer, which resulted in an aggressive series of surgeries and the removal of several organs, 2023 has been a busy year for the artist. In June, Emin unveiled three bronze doors at the reopening of the National Portrait Gallery featuring 45 carved brass panels that she secretly worked on, unpaid, for its redevelopment.
She was named as one of the female artists that would be featured in Tate Britain’s rehang unveiled in May. In August, Emin purchased a derelict seafront building in her hometown of Margate, where she set up an art school and 18-month residency program last year. And earlier this month, Emin opened her first New York solo show in seven years, “Tracey Emin: Lovers Grave” at the new Upper East Side outpost of White Cube.