Skip to main content

Acquisition file

16 May 1972-27 Apr 1973


Acquisition file


16 May 1972-27 Apr 1973

Archive reference number



Correspondence following the discovery that the Rousseau will be coming onto the market, with letters between the Gallery and Henry Clifford, owner of the picture, establishing that Clifford will be willing to give the Gallery first refusal on the sale. A meeting with Clifford at the Gallery on 25 July 1972 leads to confirmation that Clifford would like the picture to be acquired by the National Gallery, the asking price is $1,100,000 [£450,000]. This sum proves difficult for the Gallery to find, correspondence discussing options for raising the funds necessary between the Chairman, Director and Trustees. Clifford agrees to wait until a Board meeting in October so as to enable the Gallery to better organise a bid for the acquisition. Board papers and correspondence with notes discussing financial options. Arrangements to ship the Rousseau from Philadelphia Museum of Art (where it had been on loan) to the National Gallery so the work can be inspected by the Trustees at a Board Meeting on 7 December. Letter from Lord Robbins to Walter Annenberg, US Ambassador, asking whether Annenberg would consider contributing towards the acquisition. Annenberg had already expressed an interest in helping the Gallery acquire a major work. Annenberg agrees to contribute £150,000, making the acquisition possible. The Board officially agree to purchase the work at their 7 December Board meeting, letter to Clifford confirms decision on 8 December 1972. Press releases with details of the acquisition.

Record type


Paintings referenced in this record

Your list will only be saved temporarily. Inactivity of more than 20 minutes could result in the loss of your list. If you would like to keep a record of your list, we suggest you print it out or email it to yourself.

Your list of records will be sent to us if you request an appointment, and a summary will be included in your appointment email notification.