Minutes of the Board of Trustees - March 2007

Meeting held Friday 9 March 2007

Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising

1. The Board approved the minutes of the meeting held on 9 February 2007 with one amendment. They were signed later by the Chairman when this had been carried out.

Matters arising: Minute 2, 'Scratch the Surface' exhibition. The Director reported that the Board's wishes had been relayed to the exhibition department and that the Director would see and approve the written material to accompany the exhibition in advance.

The Director confirmed that proposals for exhibitions in the main floor display area should be discussed at the fortnightly Curatorial Meetings, as well as at the Exhibitions Committee meetings, which were also attended by curatorial staff.

Director's report

2. The Board approved the proposal that a dedicated space for academics be created on the Picture Library website, subsequent to which all fees relating to scholarly research and publishing would be waived where the order was processed through the website and the print run did not exceed 3,000 copies.

The Board further approved the giving of Gallery support for the cost of the website development (estimated to be not in excess of £10,000) and the waiving of NGC royalty payments to the Gallery on revenues from offline academic orders.

Exhibitions: the Director reported that projected visitor numbers for the 'Renoir Landscapes' exhibition were proving over-optimistic. Current projections were for 150,000 visitors.

Visitor numbers: the Director reported that visitor numbers for January were good, at 434,639.

The Board noted with appreciation the receipt of a generous bequest from the Estate of the late Patricia Archer and asked for further information about the circumstances of the making of the bequest.

Potential Acquisitions

3. The Board agreed that further consideration needed to be given to the structuring of any possible offer that might be made in relation to an acquisition under consideration.

The Board agreed to decline with thanks the generous offer of a gift of three pictures to the Gallery, as the quality of the pictures was unfortunately not appropriate to the Collection.

Division between Tate and National Gallery collections

4. The Board discussed further the possible memorandum of understanding with the Tate, which they agreed should be modified before being despatched to the Tate.

Minutes of Committees of the Board

5. The Board noted the minutes of the meetings of the Audit Committee on 23.11.06 and of the Finance Committee on 23.11.06 and 29.01.06

The Board agreed that the paper on Collection Acquisition Procedures should be brought back to the Board for approval once advice on it had been taken from the Board's Solicitors

Conservation matters

6. The Board considered the proposal for an External Review Body for Conservation. The Director of Conservation reported that such a body might be Chaired by a Conservator, rather than a former Gallery Director, depending on who was available.

He also reported that he proposed that a member of the Gallery's Conservation Department would act as Secretary. It was likely that reviews of the Conservation work of the Department would take place every 3 or 5 years. The Board approved and welcomed the proposal.

The Board noted the list of pictures to be considered for treatment in the medium term

Pictures for treatment

7. Professor David Ekserdjian declared a possible conflict of interest in the loan request from the Museo Nacional del Prado, arising out of the planned Correggio exhibition, and took no part in the discussion of that item nor the resulting decision.

The Board agreed to the loan requests, including those with qualifications, recommended in the Senior Curator's paper; endorsed the Gallery's decisions to decline to lend and noted the changes of dates and venues.

Velázquez exhibition report

8. The Board noted the contents of the 'Velázquez' exhibition report. The Director reported that decisions as to whether future exhibitions would be put on in the upstairs galleries or downstairs in the Sainsbury Wing would depend on projected visitor numbers, and confirmed that the forthcoming exhibition of 'Dutch Portraits' would be held downstairs in the Sainsbury wing.

Pictures for treatment

9. The Board agreed in principle and subject to later examination of the pictures by two of their number that the 'Portrait of Anna Maria van Schurman' by Jan Lievens (NG 1095) was ready to go back on display and that 'Carlo and Ubaldo see Rinaldo conquered by love for Armida' by Anthony Van Dyck (NG 877.2) was approved for treatment.

Two members of the Board subsequently attended the Conservation Studio and examined the pictures on behalf of the rest of the Board. They also noted progress on 'Saint Catherine of Alexandria with a Donor' by Pintoricchio (NG 693)

Picture movements

10. The Board noted the report on picture movements.

Any other Business

11. The Director reported that he would secure copies of the Press Releases concerning the Agreement between the Musée du Louvre and Abu Dhabi.

Copies of previous Board minutes can be obtained from the Libraries and Archive department.

Confidential and sensitive information has been excluded from these published minutes in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000

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