THE principal of Edinburgh's college of art is moving to another major cultural institution, the National Galleries of Scotland, as the institution undergoes a major management shake-up.

Professor Chris Breward is to take on a new role at the galleries (NGS) as its director of collection and research as the internal structure of the national body is changed.

The new role will mean he is in charge of the development and use of the NGS collections of art, as well as national and international partnerships for the galleries, and the current directors of the modern art and portrait galleries will report to him.

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A NGS statement said the shake up has the intention of "nurturing talent and extend [the galleries] research capacity across the breadth of our collection and archival resources.

"The new Director of Collection and Research will have specific responsibility for devising a programme of investment in curatorial training and development, to ensure that NGS has the knowledge and expertise that it needs for the future."

The galleries want the encourage "collaborations across teams and disciplines" in the NGS.

It also wants to engage in more collaborative initiatives such as the ongoing Artist Rooms programme and Generation, a nationwide celebration of contemporary art in 2014.

Under the former arrangement, directors and curators are divided into three separate teams associated with the separate national gallery buildings in Edinburgh - the National Gallery, the two Galleries of Modern Art and the Portrait Gallery.

In the future positions will be aligned with specific collections, rather than buildings, and the previous separate teams will be replaced by a single curatorial division under the new Director of Collection and Research.

Directors Simon Groom and Christopher Baker, will become directors not specifically linked to galleries anymore, but areas of the collection - Mr Groom with modern and contemporary art, Mr Baker with historic art and portraiture, and will report to Professor Breward.

Sir John Leighton, director-general of the NGS said: "Chris Breward is an inspiring leader with a strong track record in museums and in promoting creativity and innovation in art and culture.

"He is the ideal person to help us to achieve our ambition for NGS to be a powerhouse for art in Scotland with an even stronger national and international profile.

"We are delighted to welcome Chris to our senior team."

Professor Breward said: "I am delighted to be taking up this important role at such an exciting time for the NGS.

"I look forward to working with colleagues from across the NGS community and our external partners on getting the best from our world-class collection and archives, supporting the development of curatorial expertise at a time when knowledge about the arts is so important to our understanding of culture and society, and making that knowledge available to the broadest possible audience."

Professor Breward will take up his new role at NGS in the autumn of 2017.

He is an alumnus of the Courtauld Institute of Art and the Royal College of Art and not only principal of Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) but Vice-Principal for the Creative Industries and Performing Arts at the University of Edinburgh.

He joined ECA as Principal in 2011 and has led the College since its merger with the University.

He sits on the boards of the National Museums of Scotland, Fruitmarket Gallery and Hospitalfield Arts and is an advisor to several UK and international arts organisations.

Professor Breward was head of Research at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.