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After an outstanding tenure Hannah Rothschild CBE to step down as Chair of Trustees

Issued June 2019

After an outstanding tenure Hannah Rothschild CBE to step down as Chair of Trustees

The National Gallery announced today, Wednesday 19 June 2019, that Hannah Rothschild CBE will step down as Chair of Trustees in September after an outstanding term on the board. Hannah is the first woman Chair of the National Gallery having been appointed to the role in August 2015, having served on the Board as a Trustee since 2009.

Hannah Rothschild said:

“After 10 years as a Trustee of the National Gallery and during my fifth as Chair, I have decided with sadness to step down in order to devote more time to my writing and to my family’s wide-ranging activities and philanthropic concerns.

During my tenure, I am proud to have led the search for the new Director, Dr Gabriele Finaldi; to have played a part in appointing a diverse, gender-balanced board; to have helped increase the Gallery’s reserves; and to have contributed to the acquisitions of great works by Titian, Bellotto, Corot, Bellows, Cranach, Bridget Riley, Artemisia Gentileschi and others.

Thanks to the director, a talented dedicated staff, an impressive board of trustees and most generous supporters, the National Gallery has evolved into a robust, ambitious, and modern institution. 2024 will mark its bicentenary and over the next few years there are exciting opportunities to enhance and expand its activities. It is an opportune moment to appoint a new chair to lead these changes.

Since I was a young child, the National Gallery has been an integral part of my life. Being a Trustee and the first female Chair has been both a pleasure and an honour. I have no doubt that my deep affinity for this wonderful organisation and its exceptional management and supporters will continue throughout my lifetime”.

National Gallery Director, Dr Gabriele Finaldi said:

“Hannah Rothschild combines a profound knowledge of the National Gallery with a passion for reaching out to the modern public. She has supported digital innovation, greater engagement with contemporary artists, a strong learning programme and a broad national and international presence for the Gallery. I am enormously grateful for her commitment and generosity.”

Deputy Chair of the National Gallery Board of Trustees, Sir John Kingman, will step into the role of interim Chair on a temporary basis until the position is filled. The announcement regarding the new Chair of Trustees will be made in due course.


Hannah Rothschild is a writer, filmmaker, company director, and philanthropist.

Her first book, ‘The Baroness’ was published in 2012. ‘The Improbability of Love’ came out in May 2015 winning The Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse award for best comic novel and was runner up to the Bailey’s Prize for fiction. ‘The House of Trelawney’ will be published in the UK and US in the spring of 2020.

Her documentary features have been shown on major public networks including the BBC, HBO, PBS and also at film festivals. Her screenplays have been optioned by Working Title and Ridley Scott and her books are being adapted for the large and small screen. She writes for magazines and newspapers including The Times, NYT, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Bazaar.

The co-founder of the charity Artists on Film, she has lectured at the Courtauld, the Royal Academy, the Getty Institute, The Metropolitan Museum and the National Gallery on art, literature and film. Formerly a trustee of the Tate, Whitechapel and the ICA, she joined the board of the National Gallery in March 2009 and became the first female Chair in August 2015.

She serves on the board of various charitable foundations in the UK and abroad including Waddesdon Manor.

She is a non-executive director of RIT Capital Partners Ltd and Windmill Hill Asset Management Ltd.

Hannah lives in London with her three daughters.

National Gallery Press Office on 020 7747 2865 or email