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Whitechapel Names Raven Row’s Alex Sainsbury Board Chair

An installation view of 'The Stuff That Matters: Textiles Collected by Seth Siegelaub for the CSROT' at Raven Row in 2012.MARCUS J. LEITH/COURTESY RAVEN ROW

An installation view of ‘The Stuff That Matters: Textiles Collected by Seth Siegelaub for the CSROT’ at Raven Row in 2012.


Alex Sainsbury, the founder of the closely watched nonprofit London art center Raven Row, has been tapped by the city’s Whitechapel Gallery to chair its board of trustees. He will take the place of Robert Taylor, who served from 2005 to 2014.

“I am honored to become chairman of the board of trustees for the Whitechapel Gallery, which I have long admired,” Sainsbury said in a statement released to press. “It is a key part of the cultural landscape of London and beyond, and I am excited to be participating in its future.”

For more than two decades, Sainsbury has also played a key role in that cultural landscape, initiating a wide variety of free-thinking curatorial projects. Here’s a brief look at his career, via Whitechapel:

Sainsbury (born 1968) joined Rear Window – a small group organising contemporary art exhibitions in found spaces in London – in 1995. In 1997 he co-founded the arts charity Peer. He set up a two year gallery project, 38 Langham Street, in 2001, and from 2005 directed Raven Row, a non-profit exhibition centre in Spitalfields which opened in 2009. He also established the grant-making charity Glass-House Trust in 1993, co-initiating various projects related to child development and social housing, and most recently MayDay Rooms, a social resource at 88 Fleet Street, holding historical material linked to social movements and experimental culture.

Sainsbury takes up the position in March.

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