Minutes of the Board of Trustees - Thursday 17 January 2019

Minutes of the Board meeting held on Thursday 17 January 2019 

Present

Sir John Kingman (Deputy Chair)
Professor Dexter Dalwood
Dame Moya Greene
Katrin Henkel
Rosemary Leith
David Marks
Tonya Nelson
Charles Sebag-Montefiore
John Singer
Professor Molly Stevens

Apologies

Hannah Rothschild

In attendance

Dr Gabriele Finaldi - Director
Dr Caroline Campbell - Director of Collections and Research
Dr Susan Foister - Director of Public Programmes and Partnerships (Deputy Director)
Paul Gray - Chief Operating Officer
Kate Howe - Secretary to the Board and Legal Counsel
Chris Michaels - Director of Digital
Julie Molloy - Managing Director of National Gallery Company Limited
Larry Keith - Head of Conservation and Keeper (for items 1–6)
Claire Shepherd - Conservation Fellow (for item 1)
Judith Kerr - Acting Head of Development (for items 10–11)
Louise Peckett - Head of Finance (for items 10–11)

1. Pictures for treatment

1.1. The Board saw in the conservation studio Portrait of a Cardinal by Scipione Pulzone (NG1048) following treatment. The Head of Conservation and Keeper drew attention to the demanding nature of the restoration which had been carried out to the painting by one of the Gallery’s Conservation Fellows and to the newly acquired 16th-century frame in which the work was now shown. The Board approved the work as ready to go back on display.

2. Demonstration of electronic Board portal

2.1. The Board received a demonstration of the new electronic Board portal being trialled by the Gallery.

3. Declarations of interest

3.1. There were no declarations of interest. 

4. Minutes of 15 November and matters arising

4.1. The Board approved the Minutes of 15 November and the Chair was authorised to sign them as a true record of the meeting.

4.2. In relation to matters arising and progress with outstanding actions it was reported that :-

  • 4.2.1. A follow-up to the November presentation on marketing would be brought to the Board in March or May.
  • 4.2.2. In relation to the employment tribunal hearing, a decision from the Judge was still awaited and this was likely to be delayed due to the fact that both sides were being given the opportunity to make further submissions.
  • 4.2.3. The Cranach which the Board had approved for acquisition in November had been acquired and the acquisition would be announced in February.

4.2. The Board approved all proposed loans out.

5. Loans out

5.1. The Director of Collections and Research presented the Loans out paper and one addendum and risk assessment. Information has been excluded under s36 FOI 2000.

5.2. Information has been excluded under s36 FOI 2000.

5.3. The Board approved all the proposed loans out.

5.4. The Director of Collections and Research drew to the attention of the Board the proposed loan of Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria by Artemisia Gentileschi (NG6671) to Glasgow Women’s Library from 6–19 March as the first stop on a proposed UK tour of the painting which was scheduled to run through to the summer. The Board approved the proposed loan to Glasgow Women’s Library and also approved in principle the rest of the tour, although the Director confirmed that firm details of other venues and dates would be brought back to the Board for approval in March.

6. Acquisitions 

6.1. Information has been excluded under s22 FOI 2000.

6.2. Information has been excluded under s22 FOI 2000.

7. Director's report 

7.1. The Director presented his written report.

7.2. He provided the Board with a summary of numbers and locations of short term loans out in 2018, highlighting in particular the wide geographical range of loans made within the UK as part of the Gallery’s national role.

7.3. He drew attention to the installation of Messengers, a newly commissioned work by Bridget Riley, now on display in the Gallery’s Annenberg Court.

7.4. He drew attention to the recently completed refurbishment and rehang of rooms 26–28; he confirmed that work on the One Gallery Accommodation Hub was due to commence shortly, and all the required preparation in terms of ensuring that paintings were safe from damage by vibration had been carried out.

7.5. He updated the Board on other maintenance work, including works to the Sainsbury Wing roof following completion of the internal programme of refurbishment.

7.6. He reported to the Board on visitor numbers for the year ending 31 December 2018, which had exceeded 5.7m; he also reported on strong visitor numbers in January 2019.

7.7. He updated the Board on progress with achievement of the Gallery’s 5-year Strategic Plan. The Board raised a question in relation to staff changes in the Education Department, in response to which it was confirmed that the Gallery was still in the process of recruiting a new Head of Learning and National Programmes, but in the meantime there were good staff in place delivering the Gallery’s education programme.

7.8. He also reported to the Board on highlights of the year ahead. He outlined the agenda for the Board’s strategy day in February. Information has been excluded under s36 FOI 2000.

8. Committees of the Board

8.1. The Board noted the Minutes of the Audit and Finance Committees of 6 November. The Chair of the Finance Committee reported that the Committee had, at its meeting on 15 January given consideration to the issue which would be discussed with the Board under agenda item 9.

8.2. The Board noted the Minutes of the Masterplan Committee of 8 November and 5 December.

8.3. The Board noted the Minutes of the Nominations Committee of 15 November and 11 December. In the absence of the Chair of the Committee, the Board Secretary confirmed that the outcome of the recent search was that the Prime Minister had appointed Douglas Gurr to the Board with effect from 23 January. In relation to the next search, the Nominations Committee at its most recent meeting had arrived at a recommendation to the Board that, subject to Ministerial approval, the next search should be for an artist Trustee, and for one or two Trustees (at least one with strong international connections) to help build the Gallery’s fundraising base. The Board endorsed this recommendation.

8.4. The Chair elect of the Development Committee reported on meetings he had had with the Acting Head of Development and other members of the Development Team. Information has been excluded under s36 FOI 2000.

8.5. The Chair of the Digital Advisory Group said that the group would meet again on 31 January.

8.6. The Board noted the Minutes of the Scientific Consultative Group. The Chair of the group said that this had been the first meeting of the group which she had chaired; she had been impressed by the vibrancy of the meeting, and the wide range of issues discussed. She noted that the XRF scanner which had been acquired by the Gallery relatively recently was now used all the time and was essential equipment. Information has been excluded under S43 FOI 2000.

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

10. Management Accounts and Development report

10.1. The Board noted the Management Accounts.

10.2. The Acting Head of Development presented the Development report. Information has been excluded under s36 and s43 FOI 2000.

11. Grant applications to the National Gallery 

11.1. The Board approved the proposed grant applications to the National Gallery Trust.

12. Appointments to the Board of the AFNGL

12.1. The Board approved the re-appointment of Mark Getty KBE and Hannah Rothschild OBE as Class A Directors of the American Friends of the National Gallery London Inc (AFNGL).

12.2. The Board also approved the appointment of Rosemary Leith as a Class A Director of AFNGL.

13. Appointment of Tate Liaison Trustee

13.1. The Board approved the appointment of Katrin Henkel to succeed Dexter Dalwood as a Trustee of Tate with effect from 10 February 2019.

14. Appointment of Deputy Chair and Committee appointments

14.1. The Board approved the appointment of Sir John Kingman as Deputy Chair with immediate effect.

14.2. The Board also approved the appointment of John Singer as Chair of the Development Committee with immediate effect.

15. Any other business  

15.1. Information has been excluded under s36 FOI 2000.

15.2. There being no other business, the Deputy Chair declared the meeting closed.