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Lord Hall appointed Chair of the National Gallery’s Board of Trustees

Issued January 2020

The Trustees of the National Gallery are delighted to announce that Lord Hall of Birkenhead CBE has been appointed by them as Chair of the Board.

Lord Hall will take over as Chair from Sir John Kingman, who has been interim Chair since Hannah Rothschild stood down from the role in September 2019.

Lord Hall, currently Director-General of the BBC and the former Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, has served on the Gallery’s Board since November 2019.

Speaking of his appointment, Tony said, 'The National Gallery houses the greatest collection of paintings - not just in the UK - but the world. It is a hugely important cultural asset for the country and for the many people who visit from across the globe.

'I am proud to take on the role of its Chair. The National Gallery isn’t just about serving those who already love art, but reaching a wider audience and future generations.

'The National Gallery is one of our finest institutions and I look forward to working with Gabriele Finaldi, the Trustees, and the wider team, to ensure its continued success.'

National Gallery interim Chair Sir John Kingman commented, 'Tony Hall brings a unique breadth and depth of experience across the arts, the media and digital technologies, as well as a personal track record of successful leadership of two exceptional national institutions. The Trustees are thrilled that he will be the next Chair of the Gallery.'

National Gallery Director, Dr Gabriele Finaldi, added, 'Lord Hall's commitment to public access to culture is well known. The Gallery staff and I look forward to working closely with him as we prepare for the National Gallery's bicentenary in 2024.'

Culture Secretary Baroness Morgan, said, 'Tony Hall brings with him a wealth of experience and, together with Gabriele Finaldi, he will help ensure the National Gallery continues to go from strength to strength. Attracting new audiences must be a priority for all of our cultural institutions and Tony's impressive and respected background in the arts and cultural sectors makes him well placed to achieve this. I'm pleased that the National Gallery's Board has chosen to elect him as Chair.'

Tony Hall’s first term as Chair will last until 2024 when he will be eligible to serve a further term, subject to the Prime Minister’s consideration at the appropriate time of any reappointment as a Trustee.

Image: Tony Hall ©️ BBC


Lord Hall of Birkenhead CBE is currently Director-General of the BBC, a post from which he will stand down in the summer.

As Director-General, Tony Hall is the editorial, operational and creative leader of the BBC. He is responsible for the BBC’s public service, as well as its commercial operations, in the UK and around the world. He took up the post in April 2013. In January 2019, Tony Hall was also appointed President of the European Broadcasting Union.

Prior to this, Tony Hall was Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House from 2001–13. Previously, he was Director of News and Current Affairs at the BBC establishing new services for the digital age, including news online, the BBC News channel, Radio 5 Live, and BBC Parliament. He was previously a non-executive director, and Deputy Chairman, of Channel 4.

In 2012, Tony Hall chaired the Cultural Olympiad Board and joined the board of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

He is a Trustee of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, was a Board Member of 14-18 Now, set up to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. He is an Ambassador for the Creative Industries Federation and a former Vice President of the Royal Television Society. He was made a life peer in 2010, and sits on the cross benches in the House of Lords.

The National Gallery Board consists at any one time of 12 to 14 Trustees, all of whom are appointed by the Prime Minister through open competition under the public appointments process, save for one, who is appointed by the Board of Tate. The Trustees are required by The Museums and Galleries Act 1992 to appoint one of their number to be Chair.

IMAGE – Tony Hall ©BBC

For further information and images please contact the National Gallery Press Office on 020 7747 2865 or