Skip to main content

Minutes of the Board of Trustees - November 2008

Meeting held Thursday 27 November 2008


Mark Getty (Chairman)
Simon Burke
James Fenton
Lady Heseltine
Professor Dame Julia Higgins
Michael Hintze
Lord Kerr
Professor Mervyn King
Patricia Lankester
John Lessore
Ranjit Sondhi
Caroline Thomson


Professor David Ekserdjian
Lady Normanby

In attendance

Dr Nicholas Penny (Director)
Martin Wyld (Director of Conservation)
Dr Susan Foister (Director of Collections)
David Jaffé (Senior Curator)
Kate Howe (Secretary to the Board)
Luke Syson (Curator of Italian Paintings 1460-1500) for item 1
Betsy Wieseman (Curator of Dutch Paintings) for item 1
Larry Keith (Restorer) for item 1
Britta New (Assistant Restorer) for item 1
Bruce Minty (Interim Director of Resources) for items 2 to12
Sarah Ward (Head of Development) for items 2 to 4

Pictures for treatment

1. The Board approved 'The Charity of St Nicholas of Bari' Italian Florentine (NG6606) as ready to go on display. It was confirmed that it would hang in Room 7.

The Board saw in the course of treatment 'The Virgin and Child in a Mandoria with Cherubim' by a Follower of Pietro Perugino (NG702) and for information 'The Triumph of Love' by Titian (M1298 Ashmolean Museum Oxford).

The Board approved the treatment proposed for 'The Adoration of the Shepherds' by Rembrandt ( NG47), which it was agreed should be shown again to the Board in the course of treatment.

Following a detailed explanation of the work to be carried out, the Board also approved the treatment proposed for 'The Virgin of the Rocks by' Leonardo da Vinci (NG1093), which the Director of Conservation confirmed he strongly recommended, and the treatment proposed for 'The Magdalen' by Follower of Gossaert (NG2163).

Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising

2. The Board approved the minutes of the meeting held on 30 October 2008. They were later signed by the Chairman.

Matters arising: The Chairman confirmed that the search for new Trustees for appointment in spring 2009 was proceeding.

Director’s report

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

The Director reported on the outcome of management restructuring which he had been undertaking over the last 6 months. The Gallery would shortly be advertising for a permanent Director of Operations, with extended responsibilities, and for a Director of Education, whose responsibilities would include the library, website and information desks.

Proposed acquisitions - Bridgewater Titians

4. Information has been excluded under s 43 FOI 2000

Report of the Nominations Committee

5. The Board approved the revised procedure for approval of loans out, which would be implemented in 2009, and which, once in place, would require the Board to approve all loans from the Collection, paying particular attention to those on the pre-eminent list. Further consideration would be given before finalisation of the revised pre-eminent list.

The Board noted the report on Loans out.

Exhibition report, 'Radical Light'

6. The Board considered the report on the 'Radical Light' exhibition. There was a discussion about the impact which increased publicity might have made to visitor figures.

Turning to the issue of the wider exhibition programme, Lord Kerr updated the Board on recent activity in relation to the Corporate membership scheme. September had been a bad month, when two members had been lost, but since then there had been a run of renewals and signing up of new members, which was extremely encouraging in the current economic climate. He emphasised the importance of the forward exhibition programme to the securing of corporate memberships, and it was confirmed that this was due to be considered by the Board early in 2009.

Minutes of Committees of the Board

7. The Minutes of the Audit and Finance Committees on 29 September were noted.

Quarterly Management Report

8. The Quarterly management report was noted. The Director of Resources drew to the attention of the Board the possible level of year end surplus, which, as had been previously discussed, had in part arisen due to unfilled posts during the year.

The Director reported on new procedures for rolling recruitment of Gallery Assistants, which should impact on the undesirable level of unfilled posts in that area, and would mitigate the problem of unscheduled closure of rooms within the Gallery, due to shortage of staff.

Appointments to the Board of AFNGL

9. The Board approved the reappointment of Christopher Gibbs and Mark Getty to the Board of the American Friends of the National Gallery as Class A Directors for another year. The Chairman did not participate in the discussion or decision on this item.

Dates of 2009 Board meetings and strategy weekend

10. The Board noted the dates of meetings in 2009.

Picture movements

11. The Board noted the report on picture movements.

Any other business

12. 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