Neil MacGregor

Before moving to the British Museum, Neil MacGregor was Director at the National Gallery (1987 – 2002).

Neil MacGregor was born in Scotland in 1946. After studying French and German at New College, Oxford, and philosophy at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, MacGregor took an LLB in Law at the University of Edinburgh and was called to the Scottish bar.

However, he decided instead to study art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. He later developed an academic career at the Courtauld and at the University of Reading.

Between 1981 and 1986, MacGregor served as the editor of 'The Burlington Magazine'. He was then appointed Director of the National Gallery in January 1987 and he remained in this position for 15 years until June 2002. MacGregor was appointed Director of the British Museum in August 2002.

During his time at the National Gallery, MacGregor raised the profile of the organisation by hosting the popular BBC television series 'Making Masterpieces' and 'Seeing Salvation'. He also oversaw the opening of the Sainsbury Wing, the refurbishment of the galleries and a complete re-hang of the collection.

Selected acquisitions

The Four Elements: Air
The Four Elements: Air
Joachim Beuckelaer
The Four Elements: Fire
The Four Elements: Fire
Joachim Beuckelaer
Lake Keitele
Lake Keitele
Akseli Gallen-Kallela
Coastal Scene
Coastal Scene
Théo van Rysselberghe
The Triumph of David
The Triumph of David
Francesco Pesellino
The Virgin and Child
The Virgin and Child
Master of the Clarisse (possibly Rinaldo da Siena)
Whistlejacket
Whistlejacket
George Stubbs
Summer
Summer
Hans Wertinger
Saint Jerome
Saint Jerome
Albrecht Dürer
A Cup of Water and a Rose
A Cup of Water and a Rose
Francisco de Zurbarán
Portrait of Alexander Mornauer
Portrait of Alexander Mornauer
Master of the Mornauer Portrait
Avenue at Chantilly
Avenue at Chantilly
Paul Cézanne
Winter Landscape
Winter Landscape
Caspar David Friedrich
The Virgin and Child in an Interior
The Virgin and Child in an Interior
Workshop of Robert Campin (Jacques Daret?)
 
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