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Mark Getty awarded honorary knighthood

Issued January 2016

The National Gallery is delighted that its former Chair of the Board of Trustees, Mark Getty, has been given an honorary knighthood.

Her Majesty the Queen made the award in recognition of his services to the arts and philanthropy in the United Kingdom, and in particular his leadership of and support for the National Gallery over many years.

Honorary knighthoods are conferred on those who are not British citizens, but who have made an exceptional contribution to our national life. Mark will not use the title of Sir, but will be entitled to use the letters KBE after his name. 
Mark Getty has long been associated with the National Gallery. He served as a Trustee from September 1999 until August 2009, when he was elected Chair of the Board of Trustees. He remained in that position until August 2015.

Current Chair of the Board of Trustees, Hannah Rothschild, said:

“During his long service as a Trustee and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery, Mark Getty oversaw many important acquisitions. He was closely involved in the campaign to buy the two great mythological paintings by Titian, Diana and Acteon in (2009) and Diana and Callisto (in 2012) for the National Gallery of London and the National Galleries of Scotland. In 2014 he championed and gave significant financial support to the purchase of Men of the Docks by George Bellows; the first acquisition of a major American painting by the National Gallery. For the past 20 years, Mark has continued and augmented his family's distinguished record of being champions of the Gallery and of British culture.”

Mark has also been active as Chair of the American Friends of the National Gallery, established by his father Sir Paul Getty, with an endowment which has enabled the Gallery to compete internationally for the acquisition of world-class paintings (including works by Holbein, Caravaggio, and Bernado Daddi). Financial support from the Getty family (including support from Mark Getty himself) made possible the major East Wing project carried out between 2001 and 2004. The Getty entrance, which opened in 2004, is named in honour of Sir Paul.

National Gallery Director Dr Gabriele Finaldi said:

“Those who love the National Gallery have many reasons to be grateful to Mark Getty, who has been one of its greatest supporters and most loyal friends.”


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