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Minutes of the Board of Trustees - Thursday 14 July 2022

Minutes of a meeting of the Board held on Thursday 14 July 2022


John Booth (Chair), via Zoom
Diana Berry
Catherine Goodman
Katrin Henkel
James Lambert
Rosemary Leith
David Marks
Dounia Nadar
Stuart Roden
Professor Molly Stevens


Sir John Kingman
Tonya Nelson

In attendance

Dr Gabriele Finaldi - Director
Dr Caroline Campbell - Director of Collections and Research
Paul Gray - Chief Operating Officer
Victoria Hayes - Secretary to the Board and Head of Governance
Andy Hibbert - Director of Finance
Jane Knowles - Acting Director of the Public Programmes & Partnerships
Chris Michaels - Director of Digital, Communications and Technology
Julie Molloy - Managing Director of National Gallery Global Ltd
Anh Nguyen - Director of Development
Larry Keith - Head of Conservation and Keeper (for item 1)
Paul Ackroyd - Restorer (for item 1)
Bart Cornelis - Curator of Dutch and Flemish Paintings (for item 1)
Kendall Francis - Conservation Fellow (for item 1)
Marek Golias - Lindsay Conservation Fellow (for item 1)
Maria Carolina Peña-Mariño - Lindsay Conservation Fellow (for item 1)
Olivia Stoddart - Robert Gavron Conservation Fellow (for item 1)
Hayley Tomlinson - Conservator (for item 1)
Peter Schade - Head of Framing (for item 1)
Christine Riding - Jacob Rothschild Head of the Curatorial Department and Curator of British Paintings (for items 1-5)
Sarah Younger - Project Director (for item 7)

1. Pictures for treatment

1.1. In the Conservation Studio, the Head of Conservation and Keeper confirmed that, as agreed at the March Board meeting, the Chairman and Artist Trustee had visited the studio in June to view the completed treatment to Piero di Cosimo’s 'Satyr mourning over a Nymph' and approved the painting as being ready to go back on display.

1.2. Following cleaning and restoration, the Board saw Paolo Veronese’s 'Portrait of a Gentleman of the Soranzo Family' (about 1585) (NG6694). The Head of Framing showed Trustees the new frame which had recently been acquired for the painting. The Board also saw 'Christ Carrying the Cross', by Lo Spagna (NG6693); 'Captain Robert Orme' (1756) by Sir Joshua Reynolds (NG681); 'The Finding of Moses' (after 1740) probably by Francesco Zugno (NG3542) and 'The Nativity with God the Father and the Holy Ghost' (about 1740) by Giovanni Battista Pittoni (NG6279). The Board approved the pictures as being ready to go back on display.

1.3. The Head of Conservation and Keeper outlined the progress of the treatment being undertaken on Antonio del Pollaiuolo and Piero del Pollaiuolo’s 'The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian' (completed 1475) (NG292). 

1.4. Information has been excluded under s.22 and s.36 FOI 2000.

2. Declarations of interest

2.1. None

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 27 May 2022 and matters arising

3.1. The Minutes were approved.

3.2. The Chair said that when the National strategy was presented to the Board earlier in the year, a Trustee had asked for further work to be done on measuring success in reaching certain audiences. The Acting Director of Public Programmes and Partnerships presented a paper in response to the request and gave a presentation.

4. Loans out paper

4.1. The Jacob Rothschild Head of the Curatorial Department presented the loans out paper, which was approved.

5. Director's report

5.1. The Director gave his presentation.

5.2. He said the Press Launch for the NG200 bicentenary projects had taken place on 21 June and had been attended by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. He said that despite there being a national rail strike that day, it had been well attended both in person and online and press coverage had been very good.

5.3. He said that during the same week, the Gallery had hosted an inaugural summer party, 'The Alchemist’s Feast', which was a great success.

5.4. There was a discussion about the Just Stop Oil protesters who had glued themselves to the frame of John Constable’s 'The Hay Wain' in one of a series of protests across museums and galleries.

5.5. He encouraged Trustees to visit the 'Picasso Ingres: Face to Face' exhibition which was on display in Room 46.

5.6-5.7. Information has been excluded under s.22, s.36 and s.43 FOI 2000

6. Digital Strategy 2022-25

6.1. The Chair of the Digital Advisory Board introduced the strategy, which was being presented to the Board for approval. The Director of Digital, Communications and Technology gave a presentation. He said digital continued to be embedded in everything the Gallery does and that the paper demonstrated how broad its reach was in all activities across the Gallery. He said there was no end point for digital transformation, but that it would continue to develop into the future.

6.2. Information has been excluded under s.43 FOI 2000.

6.4. The Board approved the strategy.

7. NG200

7.1. Update on NG200 Welcome: The Project Director joined the meeting and presented her report. She said that stage 3 was complete and that a Construction Manager had recently been recommended to and approved by the Masterplan Committee. The Project Director reported that the decant of the Sainsbury Wing would begin in August. The Chief Operating Officer said that a huge amount of work was being done on organisational impact and a full report would be presented to the Board in due course. The Chair asked for the key points to be listed in a paper for Trustees.

7.2. Consider and ratify the decision from the Masterplan Committee on whether to submit the planning application and listed building consent for the NG200 Welcome: The Chair of the Masterplan Committee said that the submission document which had been sent to Trustees for information had the full support of the Masterplan Committee. The Board endorsed the decision.

7.3. Update on fundraising: The Director of Development presented her paper and said that the campaign was going well with over half the target raised.

8. Annual accounts, report from the Audit Committee and risk register

8.1. The Board noted the Annual accounts, report from the Audit Committee and risk register. The Chair confirmed that the accounts had been signed by him and the Director and would be laid before parliament the following week.

9. Management Accounts

9.1. The Director of Finance presented the Accounts.

10. Committees of the Board and others reporting since the last Board meeting

10.1. The Chair of National Gallery Global Limited reported that the recruitment process for a successor to the Managing Director was well underway, and he congratulated her for the strong performance of the Company to date.

10.2. The Board noted the Minutes of the Masterplan Committee held on 17 March, 19 May and 22 June.

10.3. The Board noted the Minutes of the Governance Committee held on 23 March. The Chair reminded Trustees to complete their Board Effectiveness Surveys.

10.4. The Board noted the Minutes of the Digital Advisory Board held on 9 June.

10.5. The Board noted the Minutes of the Finance Committee held on 21 June.

10.6. The Board noted the Minutes of the Audit Committee held on 21 June.

10.7. The Board noted the Minutes of the Ethics Committee held on 27 June.

11. Any other business