Kathleen Soriano began her career at the Royal Academy of Arts, London 30 years ago. In 1989 she joined the National Portrait Gallery, where as Head of Exhibitions & Collections she was responsible for national and international programmes and oversaw some of its most successful exhibitions including Mario Testino, Lord Snowdon, Henri Cartier Bresson, Annie Liebovitz and Helmut Newton. In 2004 she became one of the first cohort of Clore Leadership Fellows, undertaking placements at the South Bank Centre and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. In February 2006 she became Director of the independent art gallery Compton Verney, Warwickshire where she succeeded in securing designated status for the collections, as well as programming and raising the profile of its imaginative temporary exhibitions including projects such as The Fabric of Myth; Georges de la Tour; The Shadow and Van Gogh in Britain. January 2009 saw her appointed Director of Exhibitions, at the Royal Academy where she programmed and developed projects such as Bronze, David Hockney, Van Gogh, Australia and Degas as well as two contemporary art exhibitions as part of the GSK Contemporary series.
A trustee of the recently opened House of Illustration, she is also a patron of Crisis and a member of the Women Leaders in Museums Network. She sits on the strategic committee of the Grand Palais in Paris, on the Wellcome Collection exhibition advisory group, Churches Conservation Trust Art Strategy group, and is a member of National Trust’s Contemporary Art Panel.
Since April 2014 she has been working independently on artistic and cultural projects, and will curate the Anselm Kiefer retrospective for the Royal Academy in September 2014. She has written extensively in her field and her broadcast activities include the first and second series of Portrait Artist of the Year for Sky Arts.