Skip to main content

Minutes of the Board of Trustees - June 2009

Minutes of the Board meeting held on Thursday 4 June 2009


Mark Getty (Chairman)
Simon Burke
Gautam Dalal
Professor David Ekserdjian
James Fenton
Lady Heseltine
Professor Dame Julia Higgins
Lord Kerr
John Lessore
Lady Normanby
Hannah Rothschild
Caroline Thomson


Michael Hintze 
Patricia Lankester

In attendance:

Dr Nicholas Penny (Director) except for item 3
Martin Wyld (Director of Conservation) except for item 3
Kate Howe (Secretary to the Board) except for item 3
Dr Susan Foister (Director of Collections) for items 1 and 2 and 4 to 11
David Jaffé (Senior Curator) for items 1 and 2 and 4 to 11
Elspeth Hector (Head of Libraries and Archive) for item 1
Alan Crookham (Archivist) for item 1
Dawson Carr (Curator of Italian and Spanish 1600-1800) for item 2
Betsy Wieseman (Curator of Dutch paintings) for item 2 
Dillian Gordon (Curator of Italian paintings before 1460) for item 2
Dr Mara Hofmann (Mellon Fellow) for item 9
Joseph Padfield (Senior Scientific Officer) for item 9
Jane Ellis (Head of Finance) for items 12 to 14


1. The Head of Libraries and Archive and the Archivist addressed Trustees in relation to the book library, photographic library, slide library and archive.

Trustees were reminded of the collection development policy in relation to the book library, the nucleus of which comprised the private library of Sir Charles Eastlake, dating in the main from before 1850. In relation to the Archive, dating back to 1824, it was confirmed that the Gallery is a Public Records Body.

Pictures for treatment

2. The Board saw following completion of treatment 'Christ healing the Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda' by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (NG 5931) and approved it as ready to go back on display.

The Board also saw, for information only following completion of treatment, 'The Triumph of Love' by Titian, which the Board were informed would be on temporary exhibition in Room One, before being returned to the Ashmolean Museum.

The Board saw in the course of treatment 'The Virgin and Child in an Apse with Two Angels' after Robert Campin (NG2608) and for information only 'Margaret, the Artist’s Wife', by Jan Van Eyck (X6267 Groeningemuseum Bruges).

   In the case of the latter, the Director said that the Gallery welcomed the opportunity to conduct research into the painting, while it was under restoration. The Board saw and approved the treatment proposed for 'Triptych:The Baptism of Christ' attributed to Nicolò di Pietor Gerini(NG5791-5).

The Board were also shown parts of a Tabernacle frame which had been acquired for 'The Virgin of the Rocks' by Leonardo da Vinci; the Director said that the frame was a remarkable find, being of the right period for the painting.

The Head of Framing would have to construct a plinth and other parts to restore the frame, which would replace the existing Victorian Tabernacle frame. The latter would however be retained for historic reasons, being one of a set specifically made for the Gallery by the Gallery’s own frame maker.

Report of the Remuneration Committee

3.  The Board received the report of the Remuneration Committee and agreed the proposal which would be submitted to DCMS concerning the Director’s remuneration. The Board discussed the principal objectives for the Director for the year 2009-10.

Loans out

4. The Board approved the proposed loans from the Collection.

Picture movements

5. The Board noted the report on picture movements.

Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising

6. The Board approved the minutes of the meeting held on 2 April 2009. They were later signed by the Chairman.

Director’s report

7. The Director reported on problems of noise in Trafalgar square, and also on problems in relation to the use of the grassed areas in front of the Gallery, which might be improved by a redesign of the area; this was a matter which he said would be brought back to the Board for full consideration.

The Director reported a significant increase in visitor numbers in April, up by 25% on the same month last year; this could be attributed in part but not entirely to the impact of the Picasso exhibition .

Information has been excluded under s 41   FOI 2000.

8. Information has been excluded under s 40 FOI 2000

New initiatives presenting research on the NG website

9. The Board received a presentation on the Raphael project, which had been under development for the last 22 months, and was being sponsored  by the Mellon Foundation.

When it appeared online it would provide an innovative database of written documentation and images concerning the Gallery’s collection of paintings by Raphael, including catalogue entries, full conservation records, scientific records, provenance documentation and images.

These would be available not merely to academic users, but to all, as part of the Gallery’s commitment to increase the amount of research available online. The Board strongly welcomed the project.

Potential acquisition

10. Information has been excluded under s 41 FOI 2000.

11. Information has been excluded under s 41 and s 43 FOA 2000

Quarterly management report

12. The Board noted the quarterly management report to 31 March 2009.

Minutes of committees of the Board

13 The Board noted the Minutes of the meetings of the Audit Committee and the Finance Committee on 25 March 2009.

Grant application to the AFNGL

14. The Board approved the proposed grant application to the AFNGL in the amount of $251,300.
Trustees’ Introduction to the NG Review

15. The Board approved the draft Introduction to the NG Review 2008-9, subject to minor amendments.

Appointments to Committees of the Board

16. The Board accepted the resignation of Sir James Sassoon as a member of the Trust Funds Investment Committee, approved the appointment of Hugues Lepic and Dr David Landau as members of the Committee and agreed that Hugues Lepic should forthwith act as chair the Committee.

The Board also approved the appointment of Caroline Thomson as a member of the Remuneration Committee.

Any other business

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

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.

Read our Freedom of Information Policy