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Borrowing from the National Gallery: A Guide


The National Gallery frequently lends paintings from its collection to public exhibitions or displays both in the UK and abroad. 

Lending plays an important role in the Gallery’s ambition to promote the understanding, knowledge and appreciation of Old Master painting to as wide an audience as possible.

Lending restrictions during the National Gallery’s NG200 building project and Bicentenary

In 2024, the National Gallery will celebrate its 200th birthday. 

In order to mark this milestone the Gallery has launched an ambitious programme of redevelopment for the Sainsbury Wing called the NG200 project.

This project, to transform the welcome experience and reimagine the public realm immediately outside the Sainsbury Wing, along with our plans to celebrate the National Gallery’s Bicentenary will restrict our ability to lend.

Lending plays an important role in the National Gallery’s activity. We will honour all existing commitments, but these projects will restrict our ability to lend from January 2023 until August 2026.  We will also need to place strict restrictions on the loan of those paintings which will play a key part in our Bicentenary programme of activity.

In addition, we will need a minimum of 12 months’ notice for loan requests to UK venues, and 18 months’ notice for all international venues during this period.

If you are planning to make a loan request of the National Gallery during this period, or have any questions, please contact Christine Riding (, or our Collection Registrars ( to discuss your plans.

National Programmes

As part of our national programmes we wish to encourage the sharing of the Gallery’s collection so that our paintings can be seen in UK locations beyond London, and we welcome requests from UK borrowers.  

The National Gallery makes loans for the following reasons:

  • To widen national and international access to the collection
  • To increase knowledge about the collection
  • To support the strategic objectives of the National Gallery, including mounting major loan exhibitions
  • To increase national and international co-operation

For more information please see our Loans Out Policy.