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Minutes of the Board of Trustees - Thursday 24 November 2022

Minutes of a meeting of the Board held on Thursday 24 November 2022 


John Booth (Chair)
Diana Berry
Catherine Goodman LVO
Katrin Henkel
James Lambert OBE
Rosemary Leith
David Marks
Tonya Nelson
Professor Molly Stevens FRS


Sir John Kingman KCB FRS
Dounia Nadar
Stuart Roden

In attendance

Dr Gabriele Finaldi - Director
Paul Gray - Chief Operating Officer
Victoria Hayes - Secretary to the Board and Head of Governance
Andy Hibbert - Director of Finance and Resources
Larry Keith - Interim Director of Collections and Research
Jane Knowles - Interim Director of Public Engagement
Julie Molloy - Managing Director of National Gallery Global Ltd
Anh Nguyen - Director of Development
Christine Riding - Jacob Rothschild Head of the Curatorial Department and Curator of British Paintings (for items 1 and 4)
Bart Cornelis - Curator of Dutch and Flemish Paintings (for item 1)
Christopher Riopelle - Curator of post-1800 paintings (for item 1)
Emma Capron - Acting Curator of Early Netherlandish, German, and French Painting (for item 1)
Ben Browne - Head of Security (for item 5.4)

1. Pictures for treatment

1.1. The Interim Director of Collections and Research showed the Board Associate of Vermeyen’s 'Portrait of a Man (Alfonso de Valdés?)' NG2607, 'The Trinity with Christ Crucified', Austrian, NG3662, and 'The Virgin and Child with Saint Peter and Saint Paul', attributed to the workshop of Dirk Bouts, NG774. He explained that treatment was also being proposed for Orazio Gentileschi’s 'The Finding of Moses', NG6684 which was on display in Room 32 and for which Trustees had an examination report.

1.2. The Board approved the treatment proposed for these paintings. 

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

1.4. Information has been excluded under s.22 and s.36 and s.43 FOI 2000.

1.5. The Curator of post-1800 paintings presented Max Pechstein’s 'Bildnis Charlotte Cuhrt (Portrait of Charlotte Cuhrt)' NG6697, which the Gallery had acquired the previous week. He said it was a fine example of a German expressionist painting and would be an interesting addition to the Gallery’s collection in this area.

2. Declarations of interest

2.1. A Trustee declared a general interest in NG200 Welcome given the nature of his work and would declare a specific interest where relevant.

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2022 and matters arising

3.1. The Minutes were approved.

3.2. The actions are all ongoing. 

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 there continued to be much activity in the galleries with redisplays and that the decant of the Sainsbury Wing was being documented and shared with the public.

5.3. He said the annual Dame Myra Hess concert had taken place in October, which marked the inaugural performance of the Gallery’s own harpsichord, generously donated by The Matthiesen Foundation. Italian keyboard specialist Marco Mencoboni performed to an audience of over 140 attendees.

5.4. The Head of Security joined the meeting to report on heightened security measures following the Just Stop Oil protest at which cans of tomato soup had been thrown at Van Gogh’s 'Sunflowers'. He said there had been similar attacks in museums across Europe.

5.5. The Director encouraged Trustees to visit the 'Turner on Tour' exhibition which had recently opened in Room 46.

6. Update on NG200 Welcome

6.1. The Chair of the Masterplan Committee said that Westminster City councillors were meeting the following week to decide whether to grant planning permission and listed building consent for the NG200 Welcome projects.

7. Report from and Minutes of the Governance Committee, 24 October (Director and Trustees only)

7.1. The Chair of the Governance Committee presented her paper summarising the findings of the Board Effectiveness Survey and thanked Trustees for their 100% participation. She said that overall the results were very positive.

7.2. The Board approved the three recommendations made by the Governance Committee.

7.3. The Board approved in principle participating in the pilot Board Apprenticeship scheme from January 2024.

8. Report from the Managing Director of National Gallery Global Ltd

8.1. The Chair said that this was the Managing Director’s last Board meeting and congratulated her on leaving the Company in such excellent shape and for her many years of service.

8.2. The Managing Director presented her paper and said the overall picture was extremely positive.

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

9.1. The Board noted the Minutes of the Finance Committee held on 17 October.

9.2. The Board noted the Minutes of the Audit Committee held on 17 October.

9.3. The Board noted the Minutes of the Ethics Committee held on 17 October.

9.4. The Board noted the Minutes of the Development Committee held on 18 October.

9.5. The Board noted the Minutes of the Digital Advisory Board held on 20 October.

9.6. The Chair reported on the inaugural meeting of the Bicentenary Board held on 24 October.

9.7. The Chair of the Scientific Consultative Group reported on the meeting held on 2nd November.

9.8. The Board noted the Minutes of the Masterplan Committee held on 7 November.

10. Management Accounts and Development Report

10.1. The Director of Finance and Resources presented the Accounts.

10.2. The Director of Development presented her report and gave an update on progress in the NG200 fundraising campaign.

11. Appointment of American Friends of the National Gallery London Class A Directors

11.1. The Board approved the re-appointment of Mark Getty KBE, Hannah Rothschild CBE, John Booth and Rosemary Leith as Class A Directors of the American Friends of the National Gallery (AFNGL).

12. Any other business

12.1. None