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Minutes of the Board of Trustees - Thursday 23 September 2021

Minutes of the Board meeting held on Thursday 23 September 2021 


John Booth (Chair)
Catherine Goodman
Katrin Henkel
Sir John Kingman
Rosemary Leith
David Marks
Tonya Nelson
Stuart Roden
Professor Molly Stevens

In attendance

Dr Gabriele Finaldi - Director
Chloe Brand - Acting Head of Development
Dr Caroline Campbell - Director of Collections and Research
Dr Susan Foister - Deputy Director
Paul Gray - Chief Operating Officer
Victoria Hayes - Secretary to the Board and Head of Governance
Andy Hibbert - Director of Finance
Chris Michaels - Director of Digital, Communications and Technology
Julie Molloy - Managing Director of National Gallery Company Limited
Anh Nguyen - Director of Development
Larry Keith - Head of Conservation and Keeper (for item 1)
Jane Knowles - Head of Exhibitions (for item 7)
Annabelle Selldorf - Selldorf Architects (for items 14 &15)
Alasdair Travers - Design Partner, Purcell Architects (for items 14 & 15)
Sarah Younger - Project Director: The NG200 Project (for items 14 & 15)

1. Pictures for treatment

1.1. In the conservation studio, following cleaning and restoration, the Board saw 'The Holy Family' by Luca Signorelli (NG2488), 'A Vase of Wildflowers' by Adolphe Monticelli (NG5015) and 'Portrait of a Woman' by Anthony van Dyck (NG2144). The Board approved the works as ready to go back on display.

1.2. The Board also saw 'Captain Robert Orme' by Sir Joshua Reynolds (NG681), 'Portrait of Leonardo Salvagno (?)' by Moroni (NG3124) and 'Portrait of a Middle-Aged Woman with Hands Folded' by Frans Hals (NG1021). The Board approved the treatment proposed for the paintings.

2. Declarations of interest

2.1. None

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 2 July and 15 July and matters arising

3.1. The Minutes were approved.

4. Loans out

4.1. The Director of Collections and Research presented the loans out paper, which was approved.

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

5. Director's report

5.1. The Director gave his presentation. He said that Sketch on the Square, which had been run by the Learning team from 3-31 August had been a great success and that he hoped it could become an annual event. Trustees were keen that it should; and also hoped that it might be planned in other locations nationally.

5.2. He said that over the summer, staff had been moving into the One Gallery Accommodation Hub and that he hoped the Boardroom would be ready for the November meeting.

6. Discussion about the Gallery booking system

6.1. The Director said that the Deputy Chair, when acting as Interim Chair, had asked for a Board discussion on the Gallery’s booking system and that the paper he had prepared made recommendations.

6.2-6.7. Information has been excluded under s.22, s.36 and s.43 FOI 2000.

7. Report from the Head of Exhibitions, 2020 and a look at the years ahead

7.1. The Head of Exhibitions joined the meeting and gave her presentation.

7.2. The Board congratulated her on a very strong and exciting programme.

7.3-7.5. Information has been excluded under s.22, s.36 and s.43 FOI 2000.

8. Update on a review of the Courier Policy

8.1. The Director of Collections and Research gave a presentation outlining the changes to the Courier Policy.

9. Verbal report from the Managing Director of National Gallery Company (NGC)

9.1. The Managing Director of the Company said that performance was better than anticipated, with sales from the shops doing well and membership renewals exceeding target.

9.2. She said that a new food and beverage supplier had been approved by the NGC Board, who would be starting in the Gallery in early October with an offer in the Espresso Bar and the National Café.

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

10.1. The Board noted the Minutes of the Development Committee of 22 July.

10.2. The Chair of the Digital Advisory Board said that at a meeting earlier in the week there had been a discussion on the digital strategy. She said that the Gallery’s digital reputation was very high.

11. Management Accounts and Development Report

11.1. The Director of Finance presented the Accounts. The Chair of the Finance Committee congratulated him and the Finance team on the excellent work they were doing.

11.2. The Acting Head of Development presented the Report.

12. Annual Freedom of Information Report

12.1. The Board noted the Report.

13. Grant applications to American Friends of the National Gallery (AFNGL)

13.1. The Board approved the applications.

14. Update on NG200 capital projects

14.1. Annabelle Selldorf, Alasdair Travers and the Project Director of the NG200 Project joined the meeting. The Project Director presented the timeline of the project, identifying the stages that would require Board approval.

15. Presentation from Annabelle Selldorf

15.1. Annabelle Selldorf gave her presentation.

15.2-15.3. Information has been excluded under s.22, s.36 and s.43 FOI 2000.

16. Any other business

16.1. The Chair thanked the Deputy Chair for his support and hard work for the Gallery while he had been Interim Chair.