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Minutes of the Board of Trustees - Monday 6 January 2020

Minutes of the Board meeting held on Monday 6 January 2020


Sir John Kingman (Interim Chair)
Catherine Goodman
Dame Moya Greene
Douglas Gurr
Katrin Henkel
Rosemary Leith
David Marks
Tonya Nelson
Stuart Roden
Charles Sebag-Montefiore
John Singer
Molly Stevens



In attendance

Victoria Hayes, Secretary to the Board and Head of Governance

1. Appointment of Chair
1.1. The Interim Chair thanked everyone for their continuing support in the process of appointing a Chair. He said that the Gallery had now been without a Chair for 3 months, which was not in its best interests, but that following conversations with all Trustees, a process had been agreed for appointing a new Chair and a suitable candidate identified.

1.2. He said that two papers had been circulated to the Board ahead of today’s meeting; one from himself, outlining among other things what the process should be, and one from the candidate explaining why he believed he would make a good Chair and setting out his outline vision and strategy. He said it was important, as well as taking a view on the proposed appointment, that the Board was in agreement that the appointment process, which was to some extent dictated by the legal position, was right and in the Gallery’s best interest.

1.3. A Trustee recalled that, for the avoidance of doubt, it was not open to the Trustees to make an external Chair appointment; that only the Prime Minister can appoint Trustees to the Gallery and that in accordance with Schedule 1 of the Museums and Galleries Act 1992, the Trustees must appoint one of their number to be Chair. He felt that it was also important context that in accordance with DCMS guidelines, the National Gallery Board is already a diverse one.

1.4. A Trustee noted that it was critically important that each Trustee had been consulted in a one to one discussion, both with the former Chair and the Interim Chair, and given the chance to put their name forward. Only one person had chosen to do so. He said that the candidate in question had excellent credentials to be Chair, is keen to do it, and has the backing of the entire Board.

1.5. The Board agreed that it was satisfied that the process for selecting a Chair for the National Gallery had been carried out properly.

1.6. The Interim Chair confirmed that the candidate for Chair was Lord Hall of Birkenhead. Information has been excluded under s.36 FOI 2000

1.7. Information has been excluded under s.36 FOI 2000

1.8. The Interim Chair proposed that the exact date on which Lord Hall should become Chair should be discussed further between them and should then be approved by the National Gallery Board. The Interim Chair gave the Board his assurance that however long that process took, he would, if necessary, continue to deputise as Chair until Lord Hall’s appointment had been ratified.

1.9. The Interim Chair asked the Board for their approval. The Board approved Lord Hall being offered the position of Chair and agreed that the starting date would be approved at a later date.

2. AOB