Sir Norman Rosenthal was born in Cambridge, UK in 1944. He studied at the University of Leicester and subsequently undertook postgraduate studies at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, London University as well as the Free University of Berlin. He organised his first exhibition at the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery in 1955 and subsequently worked inter alia at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.
From 1977 to December 2007, Sir Norman was Exhibition Secretary of the Royal Academy of Arts, London, where he was in charge of the enabling and organisation of all loan exhibitions. Amongst the significant contemporary exhibitions that took place during that period were: “Robert Motherwell” 1978, “A New Spirit in Painting” 1981, “Sensation” 1997, “Apocalypse: Beauty and Horror in Contemporary Art” 2000, “Frank Auerbach” 2001, “Georg Baselitz” 2007. In Berlin he was co-responsible for the ground breaking exhibitions, “Zeitgeist” 1982, “Metropolis” 1991, and “The Age of Modernism – Art in the 20th Century” 1997.
Since leaving the Royal Academy, he works with established and emerging artists, and is a freelance consultant and curator to museums and private galleries and individuals in the UK, Europe, Turkey and the USA. He sits on various boards connected to the arts. He was knighted in 2007.