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Minutes of the Board of Trustees - Thursday 27 January 2022

Minutes of the Board meeting held on Thursday 27 January 2022


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

In attendance

Dr Gabriele Finaldi - Director
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 Ltd (NGC)
Anh Nguyen - Director of Development
Larry Keith - Head of Conservation and Keeper (for item 1)
Christine Riding - Jacob Rothschild Head of the Curatorial Department and Curator of British Paintings (for items 1-5)
Christopher Riopelle - The Neil Westreich Curator of Post 1800 Paintings (for item 1)
Chloe Brand - Acting Head of Development (for items 10-15)
Sarah Younger - Project Director (for item 10) (via Zoom)
Jane Knowles - Head of Exhibitions (for item 11)

The Chair congratulated Diana Berry, James Lambert and Dounia Nadar on their appointment as National Gallery Trustees and welcomed them to their first Board meeting.

1. Pictures for treatment

1.1. In the conservation studio, following cleaning and restoration, the Board saw 'The Hay Wain' by John Constable (NG1207), 'A White Horse, and an Old Man binding Faggots' by Philips Wouwerman (NG881), 'The Sacrifice of Isaac' by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (NG3163) and 'The Fight between the Lapiths and the Centaurs' by Piero di Cosimo (NG4890). The Board approved the pictures as being ready to go back on display.

1.2. The Board was also shown Piero di Cosimo’s 'A Satyr mourning over a Nymph' (NG698) and Paolo Veronese’s Portrait of a Gentleman of the Soranzo Family (M1641). The Board approved the treatment proposed for the paintings.

1.3-1.4 Information has been excluded under s.22, s.36 and s.43 FOI 2000.

2. Declarations of interest

2.1. None

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 25 November 2021 and matters arising

3.1. The Minutes were approved.

4. Loans out, to include a simple schedule of loans made in the last 5 years and loans requested in the next few years

4.1. The Director of Collections and Research gave a presentation on loans made in the previous five years, which she said was a useful reference, particularly for the new Trustees. She said that lending had continued throughout the pandemic.

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

5. Potential acquisition 

5.1. The Chair said that this had already been discussed. Information has been excluded under s.22, s.36 and s.43 FOI 2000.

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

6. Director's report, including a look at the year ahead

6.1. The Director gave his presentation. He reported the sad news of John Sainsbury’s death the previous week and said that homage had been paid to him at the beginning of the Linbury lecture and an in memoriam message had been put up in the Sainsbury Wing.

6.2. He highlighted the refurbishment to Central Hall, which was now complete and had reopened following a major rehang, with a display of ‘Grand Manner’ portraits, including masterpieces by Moroni, Van Dyck, Zoffany, Gainsborough, Reynolds and Lawrence.

6.3. He said that the opening for ‘Kehinde Wiley at The National Gallery: The Prelude’ had gone very well, with many people attending.

6.4. He encouraged Trustees to visit 'Gainsborough’s Blue Boy' which had opened that week.

6.5. The Director gave a presentation on the year ahead.

7. Presentation of National Programme, 2024

7.1. The Deputy Director gave a presentation. The Deputy Chair congratulated her for a strong programme with many good ideas. Information has been excluded under s.22, s.36 and s.43 FOI 2000.

7.2-7.3. Information has been excluded under s.22, s.36 and s.43 FOI 2000.

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

8.1. The Chair of the Scientific Consultative Group asked the Board to note the detailed Minutes of the meeting of 15 November and said that although the group was small, it was highly effective and some of the work it undertook was at the forefront of the field. She said that much more work was being shown than previously and that the ambition was to continue to make content more visible.

8.2. The Chair of the Masterplan Committee asked the Board to note the Minutes of the Masterplan Committee of 18 November and 14 December 2021 and said he would give an update later in the meeting.

8.3. The Board noted the Minutes of the Digital Advisory Board of 17 November 2021.

8.4. The Board noted the Minutes of the Finance Committee of 7 December 2021.

8.5. The Board noted the Minutes of the Audit Committee of 7 December 2021.

9. Development Committee and Campaign Board

9.1. The Chair acknowledged the extra time the Chair of the Development Committee had served and noted that he had chaired his last meeting in January. He said that he would chair the next meeting until a decision was made about the next Chair.

9.2-9.3. Information has been excluded under s.36 and s.43 FOI 2000.

10. Update on NG200 capital projects 

10.1. The Project Director and the Acting Head of Development joined the meeting. The Project Director gave a presentation and summarised the decisions made in the Masterplan Committee the previous week. She outlined the various stages of the project and the milestones for which Board approval would be required.

10.2-10.4. Information has been excluded under s.36 and s.43 FOI 2000.

10.5. The Board endorsed the decisions made by the Masterplan Committee.

11. Presentation on International Tour 2023-2024

11.1. The Head of Exhibitions joined the meeting and gave a presentation.

11.2-11.3. Information has been excluded under s.36 and s.43 FOI 2000.

12. Report from the Managing Director of NGC

12.1. The Managing Director of NGC said that the National Café and restaurant were now closed for refurbishment, with additional seating in the Espresso Bar to accommodate customers.

12.2. She said that visitor numbers had been disappointing during December as a result of the pandemic.

13. Management Accounts and Development Report

13.1. The Director of Finance presented the Accounts

13.2. The Acting Head of Development presented the report.

14. Grant applications to National Gallery Trust 

14.1. The grant applications were approved

15. Any other business

15.1. The Board approved the appointment of James Lambert to the board of the National Gallery Company.

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