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Apply to be a Trustee of the National Gallery

We are seeking an Academic/Cultural Trustee for appointment in 2023

Role specification 

The National Gallery (“the Gallery”) is a charity and Non–Departmental Public Body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport ("DCMS"). The Gallery seeks an Academic/Cultural Trustee for appointment in 2023.

DCMS is committed to eliminating discrimination and advancing equality of opportunity in its public appointments. We particularly encourage applicants from underrepresented groups, those based outside London and the South-East and applicants who have achieved success through non-traditional educational routes. This ensures that boards of public bodies benefit from a full range of diverse perspectives and are representative of the people they serve.

The Gallery is a public museum with a uniquely important collection of pictures which it holds for the benefit of all. It constitutes a living legacy of humanity’s highest cultural achievements in painting and is an inestimable resource for understanding the world as we have inherited it. Established in 1824, the Gallery’s statutory responsibilities including caring for and adding to the collection; displaying the collection to the public and making it available for the purpose of research and study; and generally promoting the public’s enjoyment and understanding of painting and fine art. From its inception it has been free for all to visit, and the Gallery believes that free admission represents a commitment to the public which must be reaffirmed and developed.

Covid-19 had far reaching consequences for the Gallery, although visitor numbers are now recovering strongly, and it is hoped they will recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2024, when the Gallery will be celebrating its Bicentenary. Planning permission has been granted for a suite of capital projects: NG200 Welcome, which will transform the public’s experience of the Sainsbury Wing, alongside major improvements to the Pigott Education Centre, Jubilee Walk and the surrounding public realm and the creation of a Research Centre and new Supporters’ House. In addition, an ambitious Bicentenary programme of events will reach out across the nation, the world and at the Gallery’s home in Trafalgar Square, London.

Please explore our website for further information about the organisation, including  a list of the current Trustees

The role of the Board of the Gallery includes responsibility for the Gallery’s statutory functions; the provision of overall leadership and development of strategy. It ensures that high standards of corporate governance are maintained and that the Gallery has effective control systems, decision-making processes and management in place. The Board complements the executive by providing support and advice while also, where necessary, challenging the status quo.

The Board consists at any time of 12 to 14 Trustees, one of whom is appointed by the Board of Tate and the remainder by the Prime Minister. The Gallery wishes to draw its Trustees from as diverse a range of backgrounds as possible.

Trustees must adhere to the Seven Principles of Public Life, the Twelve Principles of Governance.

All applicants to this Trustee role will be required to demonstrate the below qualities in their application:

  • A demonstrable interest in the National Gallery and love of paintings and art;
  • Academic experience which may include links to the world of scholarship; AND/OR prominence in the cultural field, preferably with a broad understanding of the collection;
  • Excellent judgment and the ability to contribute to Board discussion and strategy and policy development;
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to represent and advocate for the Gallery;
  • The ability to work collaboratively with other Trustees and senior management of the Gallery;
  • A commitment to improving opportunities for people throughout the UK and access to people from a diverse range of backgrounds;

In addition to the essential criteria outlined above, candidates for the Trustee role should be able to demonstrate the below desirable criteria:

  • An understanding of the importance of fundraising to the Gallery and a commitment to contribute to the delivery of the Gallery’s fundraising ambitions.

How to apply

Apply on the GOV.UK website

Download applicant pack [PDF 420kb]

Deadline for applications: 11:59pm on 21 September 2023