- Born in Spain, she has for the last seven years been curator of Wellcome Collection, a free museum and library in London that is part of Wellcome, one of the world’s leading health-related charitable institutions.
- In mid-September she will join the Centro Botín team to develop the Botín Foundation’s Visual Arts Programme and promote the collection, and will also be a member of the Visual Arts Advisory Committee.
- Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz has a long-standing relationship with the Fundación Botín, which in 2011 awarded her an Exhibition Curating and Museum Management Grant to study for her Master’s degree at the Royal College of Art in London. She was also a member of the jury of the Visual Arts Grants in 2017 and wrote the catalogue essay for ITINERARIOS XXIV.
- Over the course of her career, the new director has worked with such leading institutions as the South London Gallery, the Freud Museum, the Royal Opera House in London, La Casa Encendida, Gropius Bau and MAAS Sydney, as well as working closely with both mid-career and established contemporary artists.
The Fundación Botín has culminated the open international selection process that we entrusted at the beginning of the year to the firm of Liz Amos Associates, specialists in this kind of talent search in the art world. Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz, born in Madrid, thus joins the Centro Botín team as Director of Exhibitions and the Collection after living in London for 13 years.
The new director, whose is due to take up her post in mid-September, will be part of the Centro Botín team led by executive director Fátima Sánchez. Her role will include developing and implementing the Fundación Botín Visual Arts Programme in association with the Visual Arts Advisory Committee and in line with the mission and purpose of the Cantabrian institution, which will involve putting into effect proposals from the Advisory Committee with a view to developing an ambitious and attractive exhibition programme of international quality, working closely with the director of the Visual Arts Department, Begoña Guerrica-Echevarría, and the rest of the team at the Centro Botín.
She will also be responsible for managing the Fundación Botín art collection and will be in charge of curating the different exhibitions presented to her by the Foundation. She will represent the Centro Botín in the visual arts field at the local, national and international levels, while establishing and strengthening relationships with other art centres and museums and also with artists, curators, collectors and galleries.
A return to her roots
Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz has a Master in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, London (2011), for which she was awarded an Exhibition Curating and Museum Management Grant by the Fundación Botín. Her long-standing relationship with the Cantabrian institution also includes being a member of the advisory panel for the Botín Visual Arts Grants 2017 and writing the catalogue essay for Itinerarios XXIV.
Over the course of her career she has worked with such leading institutions as the South London Gallery, the Freud Museum, the Royal Opera House in London, La Casa Encendida, Gropius Bau and MAAS Sydney, as well as working closely with both mid-career and established contemporary artists, such as including Imogen Stidworthy, Oreet Ashery, Dora García, Ingela Ihrman, Johana Hedva, Eduardo Navarro and Patricia Domínguez.
Over the last seven years, she has been curator at Wellcome Collection, London, where she has developed a programme anchored in the institution’s historical and modern collections. Her major exhibitions include Jo Spence & Oreet Ashery: Misbehaving Bodies, for which Ashery was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2020. She is currently curating Rooted Beings (Un encuentro vegetal), a collaboration between Wellcome Collection and La Casa Encendida, in partnership with the Delfina Foundation. This reimagining of our relationship with the vegetal world is at La Casa Encendida until 19 September and at Wellcome Collection from February 2022.
Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library in London which explores health and being human, making connections between science, medicine, life and art. Its unique position within Britain’s cultural ecosystem, similar to that of the Centro Botín, in being part of a larger charitable foundation, Wellcome, which supports research into life, health and wellbeing.
Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz’s deep commitment to supporting contemporary artists and reactivating museum collections for all publics is underpinned by robust research into current social issues that inform artistic practices such as health, ecology and access. She recently edited HEALTH, the latest in the much praised series ‘Documents of Contemporary Art’, published jointly by the MIT Press and the Whitechapel Gallery, and has written for Art Agenda, Afterall, Concreta, the Gwangju Biennale, Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, Marg and Mousse Publishing. She has also lectured at Goldsmiths, the London College of Communication and Central St Martins.