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National Gallery Administration



National Gallery Administration



Archive reference number



In 1946, when Philip Hendy became Director of The National Gallery, there were few distinct administrative departments and the Director and Keeper were responsible for much of the general administration. Hendy oversaw the creation of specialised departments, including the Conservation Department (1946), and the Publications Department (1949), along with the expansion of the Scientific Department.
These new departments relieved Hendy of some administrative responsibilities during a time when he was heavily involved in the rebuilding of the Gallery and hanging and furnishing its rooms. From 1949, a new Senior Executive Officer became responsible for accommodation and maintenance of the building and assisted Hendy with hanging and furnishing. He delegated further when an Executive (Clerical) Officer was employed in 1950 and a Chief Restorer in 1954.
In 1961 there was recognition that the administrative structure of the Gallery needed revision because Hendy's responsibility for policy, acquisitions, conservation, loans and exhibitions had become too detailed and technical. As a result, four new Departments of the History of Painting were established with a Deputy or Assistant Keeper responsible for the paintings of particular schools and periods. The Keeper's role became more like that of a Deputy Director, and the Senior Executive Officer took on responsibility for security, uniformed staff, buildings and accounts.
Under Hendy, the Director's role became increasingly taken up with public relations and promoting The National Gallery. He became an independent advisor to the Board of Trade on exports of works of art, and sat on the committees of the British Council, Museums Association and the International Council of Museums. Hendy also made numerous visits abroad to promote and acquire works for the Gallery. He was a prolific writer and lecturer. Philip Hendy resigned from his post in 1967

Record type


Alternative reference numbers

NG35/4-16, 137

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