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Minutes of the Board of Trustees - 22 September 2016

Minutes of the Board meeting held on Thursday 22 September 2016


Hannah Rothschild (in the Chair)
Gautam Dalal (not for items 1–2) 
Professor Dexter Dalwood
Katrin Henkel
Rosemary Leith
Lord King of Lothbury (not for items 11–15)
Lisa Milroy
John Nelson
Charles Sebag-Montefiore 
John Singer


Lance Batchelor
Professor Anya Hurlbert

In attendance

Dr Gabriele Finaldi - Director
Dr Susan Foister - Director of Public Engagement and Deputy Director
Larry Keith - Head of Conservation, Keeper and Acting Director of Collections
Chris Walker - Director of Finance and Operations 
Kate Howe - Secretary to the Board and Legal Counsel
Caroline Campbell - The Jacob Rothschild Head of the Curatorial Department (items 1–4)
Letizia Treves - Curator of Italian and Spanish Paintings 1600–1800 (item 1)
Betsy Wieseman - Curator of Dutch and Flemish Paintings (item 1 and part of item 4)
Paul Ackroyd - Restorer (item 1)
Jill Dunkerton - Restorer (item 1)
Kristina Mandy - Patrick Lindsay Conservation Fellow (item 1)
Deborah Myers - Head of Development (item 4)
Louise Peckett - Head of Finance (item 9)
Mona Walsh - Head of Communications (item 10) 

The Board met in closed session with the Director at the start of the meeting. 

1. Pictures for treatment

1.1. The Board were shown, following completion of treatment, The Outskirts of a Village with a Horseman by Ostade (NG847), which the Board were told would be reframed before it went back on display. They were also shown, following completion of treatment, The Dead Christ and the Virgin, Neapolitan follower of Giotto (NG3895). There was a discussion of the history and attribution of this work and it was noted that an article would appear in 'The Burlington Magazine', recording the outcome of research to date. The Board were also shown, following completion of treatment, The Edge of a Wood, with a Sleeping Shepherd, Sheep and Goats by van de Velde (NG982) and A Landscape with a Farm by a Stream by van de Velde (NG2572). The Board approved all four works as ready to go back on display.

1.2. The Board were also shown Maternal Affection by Lagrenée (NG6663) and Fruit, Flowers and Dead Birds by Hendriks (NG1015) and approved the treatment proposed for these paintings.

1.3. The Board were also shown for information 'A Concert with Three Figures' by Valentin de Boulogne on loan from The Chatsworth Estate following completion of treatment.

1.4. The Head of Conservation drew attention to the fact that Morwenna Blewett was leaving the Gallery after 7 years working in the conservation department and thanked her warmly for her contribution to the department’s work.

2. Declarations of interest

The Chair reminded the Board that there were two paintings proposed for acquisition by artists not currently represented in the Collection and that any Trustee owning a work by either of those artists should declare an interest. No interests were declared in relation to this or any other matter.

3. Loans out

3.1. The Jacob Rothschild Head of the Curatorial Department presented the Loans out paper.

3.2. The Board approved all the loans proposed in the Loans paper.

4. Acquisitions

4.1. The Board noted the paper in relation to the proposed acquisition by the Gallery of 'Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Cap' by Pontormo (“the Painting”) which the Board had been shown at a previous Board meeting. The Head of Development updated the Board in relation to progress on fundraising in relation to the proposed acquisition.

4.2. Information has been excluded under s36 and s 43 FOI 2000.

4.3. Information has been excluded under s22 and s43 FOI 2000.

4.4. Information has been excluded under s22 FOI 2000.

5. Minutes of 7 July and matters arising

5.1. The Board approved the minutes of 7 July subject to minor amendments and the Chair was authorised to sign them as a true record of the meeting.

6. Director’s report, events and visitor numbers

6.1. The Director’s report was noted

6.2. The Director reported on a visit to the Gallery by Matt Hancock, recently appointed as Minister of State for Digital and Culture.

6.3. The Director highlighted changes to the display of the permanent collection, including the re-hang of the Leonardo Burlington House Cartoon and The Virgin of the Rocks in Room 66, providing the first opportunity for the public to see these works hanging together since the Gallery’s 'Leonardo' exhibition. He also highlighted the re-opening of Rooms 43 and 44, following extensive refurbishment, generously supported by the Wohl Foundation.

6.4. He drew attention to a forthcoming public conference on 14 October relating to the history of the Gallery’s Sainsbury Wing.

7. Matisse, 'Portrait of Greta Moll'

7.1. The Board noted the paper in relation to this matter.

7.2. Information has been excluded under s 36 and s43 FOI

8. Visitor and security related services contract

8.1. The Board noted the paper in relation to this matter. The Chair said that this had been discussed in detail with the Finance Committee and invited the Chair of the Committee to report on their conclusions and recommendations

8.2. Information has been excluded under s36 and s43 FOI 2000

9. Finance Report

9.1. The Board noted the Finance Report to 31 July which was presented by the Head of Finance.

10. NDS Programme update

10.1. The Head of Communications gave a presentation updating the Board in relation to brand, content strategy and digital concepts.

10.2. The Board strongly welcomed the presentation, and in particular expressed the view that the work carried out in relation to brand strongly reflected and resonated with the Gallery’s values. In response to a question from the Board it was confirmed that the brand principles being developed would apply equally to the National Gallery Company who had been closely involved in work carried out to date. Information has been excluded under s 36 FOI 2000.

11. Exhibition report: Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art

11.1. The Board noted this report. 

12. Trustees Handbook

12.1. The Chair of the Governance Committee drew attention to the principal changes to the Trustees Handbook and the Board approved the revised version (subject to one minor amendment), including the revised Code of Practice for individual Trustees.

13. Committees of the Board

13.1. The Board noted the Minutes of the Audit and Finance committees of 23 June.

13.2. The Board noted the Minutes of the Governance committee of 19 July.

13.3. The Board noted the Minutes of the Nominations committee of 23 June. The Chair reported that the committee recommended that the Gallery should embark on a search for a new Trustee with the skills and experience required to Chair the Audit and Finance committees when Gautam Dalal’s current term of office came to an end in March 2017; and also for a senior property professional, with the connections and experience to help guide the Board through existing and future capital projects, including a potential major re-development of the Gallery’s estate. The Board endorsed these recommendations and the Chair said that draft role descriptions would be sent to DCMS for Ministerial approval.

13.4. The Chair of the Development Committee reported in relation to corporate sponsorship and membership matters. Information has been excluded under s43 FOI 2000. In relation to corporate membership, he said that there were currently no indications that Brexit was causing problems in relation to renewals or the signing up of new members. One member of the Board asked if the Director’s report could include a table summarising progress against development targets.

13.5. The Board approved the proposed updated terms of reference for the Remuneration and Development committees.

14. Appointment of Deputy Chair

14.1. The Board approved the appointment of John Nelson as Deputy Chair of the Board.

15. Any other business

15.1. There being no other business, the Chair declared the meeting closed.