Minutes of the Board meeting held on Thursday 19 September 2019
Hannah Rothschild (Chair)
Professor Dexter Dalwood
Dame Moya Greene
Sir John Kingman
Professor Molly Stevens
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
Victoria Hayes - Secretary to the Board and Head of Governance
Andy Hibbert - Director of Finance
Kate Howe - Secretary to the Board and Legal Counsel
Chris Michaels - Director of Digital
Julie Molloy - Managing Director of National Gallery Company Limited
Anh Nguyen - Director of Development
Larry Keith - Head of Conservation and Keeper (for items 1-4)
Christine Riding - The Jacob Rothschild Head of the Curatorial Department (for items 1-4)
Letizia Treves - Curator of Italian, Spanish and French paintings (for item 1)
Bart Cornelis - Curator of Dutch and Flemish paintings (for item 1)
Antonella Casaccia - Patrick Lindsay Conservation Fellow (for item 1)
Jae Chung - Robert Gavron Conservation Fellow (for item 1)
1. Pictures for treatment
1.1. In the conservation studio, following completion of treatment, the Board saw Portrait of Lucas Fayd’herbe (?) possibly by Pieter Franchoijs (NG1012); A Lady with a Fan by Ferdinand Bol (NG5656) and Saint Francis in Meditation by Francisco de Zurbarán (NG230). The Board approved the works as ready to go back on display.
1.2. The Board also saw Lot and his Daughters leaving Sodom by Guido Reni (NG193) which was proposed for treatment. The Head of Conservation and Keeper explained that the work was last treated in 1956. The Board approved the treatment proposed for this work.
The Chair welcomed Anh Nguyen, the new Director of Development, and Victoria Hayes, the new Secretary to the Board and Head of Governance, to their first Board meeting.
2. Declarations of interest
3. Minutes of 11 July and matters arising
3.1. The Board approved the Minutes of 11 July subject to a few minor changes and the Chair was authorised to sign them as a true record of the meeting.
4. Loans out
4.1. The Jacob Rothschild Head of the Curatorial Department presented the Loans Out paper
4.2. Information has been excluded under s 22 and s36 FOI 2000.
4.3. Subject to the loan agreed in principle under 4.2, the Board approved all proposed loans out.
5. Director’s report
5.1. The Director presented his written report.
5.2. Information has been excluded under s36 and s43 FOI 2000
5.3. He reported on the special display of The Virgin and Child with Saints by Giovanni Martini da Udine in Room 56 that enables visitors to see the conservation work that was undertaken on it. The Director of Collections and Research said that the display had been widely reported through social media and press coverage in August, along with ten-minute talks in the Gallery and there would be two further talks between herself and the conservator. The Director encouraged the Trustees to watch a National Gallery video on YouTube of the Restoration of Van Dyck’s Charles I, as part of the Getty Foundation’s Conserving Canvas initiative.
5.4. The Director reported that the central desk has now been removed from the Sainsbury Wing Entrance, enabling the space to be used more effectively and that the Gallery Assistants and Information staff have new uniforms.
5.5. The Director invited the Board to attend the NGX launch the following morning in the ground floor of Saint Vincent House, a collaboration between the National Gallery and King’s College London. This digital innovation lab will ensure that the National Gallery can explore how technical innovations can be applied to collections and exhibitions. NGX will host a series of residencies.
5.6. Information has been excluded under s36 and s43 FOI 2000.
5.7. The Director reported that it has been a strong year for visitor numbers, with over 500,000 visiting each month for the last seven months. He said that September has been relatively quiet, as it always is, but that the year to August has seen the highest figures since 2016.
5.8. Information has been excluded under s40 FOI 2000.
6. Information has been excluded under s 36 and s 43 FOI 2000
7. Information has been excluded under s36 and s43 FOI 2000.
8. Committees of the Board and other reports
8.1. The Interim Head of Finance presented the annual Accounts, report from the Audit Committee and risk register, highlighting headline figures in the Accounts; she reported on the reasons for a short delay in the laying of the Accounts before Parliament, arising from a late request by the NAO for some further valuation evidence in relation to investments.
8.2. There was a discussion by the Board of the fact that only part of the Gallery’s collection was capitalised and valued in the Accounts, being the more recently acquired part of the collection; it was agreed that it was sensible that the Accounts should highlight this, although it was agreed that the wording of the explanation of the historic reason for this treatment should be reconsidered in 2019-20.
8.3. One Trustee noted that the Accounts made clear that a significant number of works were not on display; he asked whether further consideration could be given by the Gallery to ways in which more of these works could be displayed - perhaps through loans to other museums and galleries in the UK. In this connection the Director said that the works not on display tended not to be the works which regional museums were keen to borrow, but it was agreed that this issue should be revisited. The Board would be taken to see the works in store.
8.4. Information has been excluded under s31 FOI 2000.
8.5. The Chair noted that this would be the last meeting attended by the Interim Head of Finance and thanked her for the excellent work she had done for the Gallery, particularly in relation to the drawing up of the year end accounts.
9. Report from and Minutes of Governance Committee
9.1. The Chair of the Committee reminded the Board that the purpose of the Committee was to review the Code of Conduct and the Board effectiveness survey. He asked the Trustees to approve the recommendations of the Committee arising from the survey so that they could be carried forward for implementation. The Board approved the recommendations.
10. Approval of revised Trustee Code of Conduct
10.1. Information has been excluded under s36 FOI 2000.
11. Report on the Public Programmes and Partnerships Directorate
11.1. The Director of Public Programmes showed the Board a film that followed the progress of the Artemisia Visits tour. She explained that the Gallery had taken Artemisia Gentileschi’s Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria on a national tour which had visited Glasgow Women’s Library; Pocklington Group Practice in Yorkshire; Sacred Heart Catholic High School in Newcastle; HM Prison in Send, Surrey and Wood Street Library in Waltham Forest. She reported that the tour attracted considerable public interest and that a range of events had been organised around each visit.
11.2–11.5. Information has been excluded under s 36 FOI 2000
11.6. The Director of Public Programmes and Partnerships tabled and presented a paper outlining the Exhibition Programme for 2019-2022.
12. Hugh Lane Bequest
12.1. Information has been excluded under s 36 FOI 2000.
13. Management Accounts Report and Development Report
13.1. Information has been excluded under s 43 FOI 2000.
13.2. Information has been excluded under s 43 FOI 2000.
14. Information has been excluded under s 36 and s 43 FOI 2000
14.1. Information has been excluded under s 36 and s 43 FOI 2000
15. Grant applications to AFNGL
15.1 The Board approved the grant applications to AFNGL
16. Modern Slavery Update
16.1. The Board approved the Modern Slavery Update
17. Annual Freedom of Information Report
17.1. The Board had no questions on the Freedom of Information Report
18.1. The Board approved the Deputy Chair acting as interim Chair until a new Chair is appointed.
18.2. The Board approved the appointment of a new member to the Nominations Committee.
18.3. The Board approved that the Deputy Chair be the interim Chair of the Remuneration Committee until a new Chair is appointed.
18.4. The Board approved that the Deputy Chair continue to chair the Audit and Finance committees until the appointment of a new Chair.
18.5. The Chair said that this was her last meeting as a Trustee and thanked the Board for all their support. She said that it was also Dexter Dalwood’s last meeting as artist Trustee and she thanked him for all he had done.