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Minutes of the Board of Trustees – January 2012

Minutes of the Board meeting held on Thursday 26 January 2012


Mark Getty, Chairman
Lance Batchelor
Gautam Dalal
Dexter Dalwood
Professor David Ekserdjian
Lady Heseltine
Michael Hintze
Professor Anya Hurlbert
Lady Normanby
Hannah Rothschild
Caroline Thomson


Patricia Lankester
John Nelson

In attendance

Dr Nicholas Penny (Director)
Dr Susan Foister (Deputy Director)
Kate Howe (Secretary to the Board)     
David Jaffe (Senior Curator) items 1–3
Larry Keith (Director of Conservation) items 1–3
Carol Plazzotta (Myojin Senior Research Curator) item 1
Christopher Riopelle (Curator of Post 1800 Paintings) item 1
Betsy Wieseman (Curator of Dutch Paintings) item 1
Jill Dunkerton (Conservator) item 1
Morwenna Blewett (Assistant Conservator) item 1
Sarah Ward (Director of Public Affairs and Development) item 6
Jane Ellis (Head of Finance) items 6–9
Jill Preston (Head of Communications) item 1
Fred Wiseman item 1

The Head of Communications introduced Fred Wiseman to the Board and reminded the Board that he was filming in the Gallery. Mr Wiseman outlined for the Board the methods he employed in his filming, and the likely timetable for production of his documentary film. 

Pictures for treatment

1. The Board saw Portrait of a Man (Girolamo Fracastoro?) after Titian (NG3949) following completion of treatment and approved it as ready to go back on display. The Myojin Senior Research Curator drew the Board’s attention to the reframing of the Painting in a 16th century Venetian frame.

The Board saw in the course of treatment A Concert by Imitator of Titian (NG3) and The Conversion of St Paul, Italian, Ferrarese (NG73).

The Board saw, and approved the treatment proposed for A Beach Scene with Fishermen by Ludolf Bakhuizen (NG818). The Curator of Dutch Paintings reminded the Board that this was the third painting by this artist which had been presented to them over the course of the last year.

Declarations of interest

2. David Ekserdjian reminded the board that he was the Curator of a forthcoming exhibition of bronzes at the Royal Academy and said that it was likely that loans for that exhibition would be requested from the Getty Centre Los Angeles, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, all of whom had requested loans from the Gallery for discussion under item 3.

The Board were told that, in accordance with the recommendation of a recent internal audit report on conflicts of interest, it had been agreed that Board members would be asked to declare any interest before discussions relating to the potential acquisition of any painting by an artist not already represented in the collection. The Board were asked to declare if they had any interest in works by Johan Christian Dahl. No interest was declared.

Loans out

3. It was noted that the requested loan of NG5360 was recommended for both venues, and not just one as shown in the loans paper. The Board approved all proposed loans from the Collection.

In relation to long term loans from the Collection, the Board asked to be reminded in due course of the list of long term loans to and from Tate.

Minutes of 24 November and matters arising

4. The Minutes were approved. The Chairman was authorised to sign them as a true record of the meeting.

Director’s report, events and visitor numbers

5. The Board noted the Director’s report.

The Director updated the Board in relation to the impact of recent industrial action by PCS and reported that on 19 January 45 members of the day warding staff had taken strike action for a period of two hours, but that it had nevertheless been possible to keep both parts of the Leonardo exhibition open to the public.

The Director reported to the Board that it was likely that the Gallery would be able to extend the opening of the Leonardo exhibition to midnight on the last three days of the exhibition, and that the additional tickets which would therefore be available, would be sold on the day. It was confirmed that a full report on the exhibition would be brought to the Board in May. 

The Director drew attention to the success of the conference on Leonardo’s Technical Practice, organised by the Gallery’s Scientific Department and others in January.

He outlined for the Board various options and constraints in relation to the proposed creation of a Gallery film to be made at the end of the exhibition, for broadcast on the Gallery website.

The Board expressed their thanks to the Executors of the Estate of Barry Hart deceased for a legacy to the Gallery.

Information has been excluded under s 23 FOI 2000.  


6. Information has been excluded under s 43 FOI 2000

Proposed loans to the collection

7. The Board were shown The Lower Falls of the Labrofoss by Johan Christian Dahl and At Handeck by Alexandre Calame, both of which had been offered as gifts to the American Friends of the National Gallery (AFNGL). The Board authorised the Director to recommend to the AFNGL the acceptance of the proposed gifts.

Minutes of Committees of the Board

8.The Minutes of the meeting of Audit, Finance and Trust Funds Investment committees of 24 November 2011 were noted.

Grant applications to the NGT

9. The Board approved the making of the proposed grant applications to the NGT.

Annual Freedom of Information report 

10. The Board noted the annual Freedom of Information report.

National Adviser to Southampton City Art Gallery

11. The board endorsed the decision of the Director to agree to the transfer to the Director for the time being of Tate of the role of expert adviser in relation to the Southampton City Art Gallery, subject to the approval of the Charity Commissioners.

Report of the Nominations committee

12. The Board considered the report of the Nominations committee, following the recent search for a new Trustee, and endorsed the decision of the Committee in relation to the proposed recommendation to the Prime Minister.

The Board approved the appointment of Lady Heseltine as a member of the Nominations Committee, to replace Nicola Normanby on that Committee with effect from the date of Lady Normanby’s retirement from the Board.

Any other business

13. The Chairman reported that this would be the last meeting of Lady Normanby, the Board’s Deputy Chair, whose term of office as a Trustee would come to an end on 1 February. On behalf of the Board he thanked her warmly for everything she had done for the Gallery during her term in office, and in particular for her contribution as a member of the Board’s Nominations committee.

There was a request from the Board for a full discussion of the Gallery’s policy on conservation issues and the Director agreed to consider and discuss with the Director of Conservation the best format for such a discussion.

There being no other business the Chairman declared the meeting closed.

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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