Offers of pictures to the National Gallery: Filed by British artists
Archive reference number
The letters provide varying amounts of detail/description on the pictures being offered. Some provenance information and the dimensions of the paintings are sometimes included. The letters are often annotated with the reply to the offer and the date the response was sent.
They are generally from members of the public wishing to sell or gift their painting or paintings to the Gallery, however the series also contains some letters requesting information or providing the Gallery with certain information on paintings.
Since its foundation in 1824, the National Gallery has received from members of the public or art dealers offers of pictures for sale or donation. In some cases, the offers are presented to the Board of Trustees for decision. However, in many cases the decision was made by the Keeper or Director, acting under his own authority.
Some of the pictures offered to and rejected by the National Gallery have subsequently become part of major public collections.
These letters were received by the Gallery 1849-1904. At some point they were separated from the rest of the Archive, and held within the Library in Box K III, 6, 18. They were transferred back to the Archive in 2002.
Similar correspondence is filed in: NG5 Letters 1823-1877 NG7 Letters read at Board meetings 1877-1914 NG39 Offers rejected: filed by owner 1836-1904 NG40 Offers rejected: collections 1845-1943 NG16 Registry series 1913-1987 [especially files: NG16/158.1-128: 1913-1987 and NG16/291: 1913-1921] NG1 minutes of the Board of Trustees, where some offers were discussed NG9 Register of Offers, 1878-1920
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