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Displaying items by tag: national portrait gallery

The National Portrait Gallery will stage a major exhibition in 2015 of works by one of the world’s most celebrated portrait painters, John Singer Sargent. Organized in partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the exhibition will bring together, for the first time, a collection of the artist’s intimate and informal portraits of his impressive circle of friends, including Robert Louis Stevenson, Claude Monet and Auguste Rodin.
Curated by Richard Ormond CBE, co-author of the John Singer Sargent catalogue raisonné, the exhibition "Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends" (12 February – 25 May 2015) will explore the artist as a painter at the forefront of contemporary movements in the arts, music, literature and theater, revealing the depth of his appreciation of culture and his close friendships with many of the leading artists, actors and writers of the time.

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One of the most famous portraits of George Washington will soon get a high-tech examination and face-lift of sorts with its first major conservation treatment in decades.

The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery has begun planning the conservation and digital analysis of the full-length "Lansdowne" portrait of the first president that was painted by Gilbert Stuart in 1796, museum officials told The Associated Press. The 8-foot-by-5-foot picture is considered the definitive portrait of Washington as president after earlier images in military uniform.

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He may be seated in his familiar armchair, but the portrait revealed today by the National Portrait Gallery reveals a less familiar side of one of our best loved writers.

Matthew Smith captured the young Roald Dahl in 1944 when he was in his late twenties and a flight lieutenant (war-substantive) in the RAF.

At the time of the portrait Dahl had experienced a short but lively time as a Hurricane pilot in the Mediterranean and North African theatres of war. His exploits had led to him being recognised as a fighter ace but he was invalided out of the RAF in late 1941 when the serious injuries he had sustained in an earlier crash landing in the Libyan desert caught up with him.

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Haunting portrait photographs, including a swan-necked David Bowie photographed in 1978, the playwright Nell Dunn looking startlingly like a long-lost Bowie twin, and Vita Sackville-West, the writer, gardener and former lover of Virginia Woolf who was still formidable in the year before her death in 1962, have been donated to the National Portrait Gallery by the society photographer Lord Snowdon.

The gift of 130 original prints, including photographs of his former in-laws from the years he was married to Princess Margaret, is one of the largest ever to the gallery

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Nicholas Penny is to retire as National Gallery director to spend more time with “family, friends and books”.

Dr Penny, who turns 65 in December will step down next year once a successor has been appointed.

His retirement leaves two of the top jobs in British arts up for grabs, after the National Portrait Gallery director, Sandy Nairne, recently announced his impending departure.

It will also bring to an end the most successful period in the National Gallery's history.

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Sandy Nairne has decided to step down in February 2015 as director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, after 12 years, to pursue his writing and advisory work, it was announced today, Thursday 12 June 2014.

Sandy Nairne says: ‘It has been a great privilege to lead such a special institution as the National Portrait Gallery, and I am very proud of what we have achieved over the past decade. The fact that two million visitors now come each year to visit exhibitions, take part in activities or see displays of this amazing Collection in London, as well as around the country or online, is testimony to the dedication of all who work at the Gallery and those who support it in so many different ways. The Gallery is in very good shape and will go from strength to strength.’

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Friday, 02 May 2014 11:14

Van Dyck Self-Portrait will Stay in the UK

A self-portrait of Sir Anthony van Dyck has been saved for the nation, in the most successful public fundraising campaign for a work of art in the history of Britain.

The Van Dyck portrait, painted shortly before the artist's death, will now stay in the country after more than 10,000 members of the public stepped forward to help raise £10 million.

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The National Portrait Gallery in London has acquired a 17th century portrait of Lady Anne Clifford, an early feminist and patron of the arts. When Lady Clifford died in 1676 at the age of 86, she was likely Britain’s wealthiest woman. Clifford fought a lifelong battle for her inheritance from her father, George Clifford, Third Earl of Cumberland, which had been left to her uncle. Through archival research and dogged legal disputes, Lady Clifford established the justice of her claims.  

William Larkin painted the portrait recently acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in 1616 when Lady Clifford was 28 years old. The work was given to her cousin but then lost for centuries. It was traced by gallery owner Mark Weiss to a European private collection and purchased by the National Portrait Gallery for £275,000, including a £70,000 grant from the Art Fund charity.

Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said, “Lady Anne Clifford painted by William Larkin is a fascinating portrait of an important woman, and I am very grateful to the Art Fund and our generous individual supporters who have made the acquisition possible.”

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On June 10, 2013, Bank of America announced the recipients of its 2013 Art Conservation Project. The program provides grant funding to international nonprofit museums to conserve historically and culturally significant works of art that are in danger of deterioration.

This year, Bank of America’s Art Conservation Project will provide funding for 24 works in 16 countries. One of the most significant undertakings is the restoration of Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers in Los Angeles. Built between 1921 and 1953, the Watts Towers are an iconic part of the city and have fallen into disrepair. The towers are part of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Other projects include the restoration of Jackson Pollock’s (1912-1956) Number 1A, One, and Echo at the Museum of Modern Art; 13 mural drawings by Diego Rivera (1886-1957) at the Detroit Institute of Arts; four Tudor paintings at the National Portrait Gallery in London; a Rembrandt (1606-1669) study at the National Gallery in Prague; and a Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) photography collection at La Casa Azul in Mexico.    

Bank of America launched its Art Conservation Project in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in 2010. It was expanded to include the Americas, Asia, and Australia in 2012. Including this year’s recipients, Bank of America will have funded the conservation of 57 projects in 25 countries.

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Thursday, 30 May 2013 18:18

Strike Sweeps UK Museums and Galleries

Unhappiness over jobs, pay, and pensions has led workers at numerous museums, galleries, and heritage sites across the UK to go on strike. The walkout has affected some of the country’s biggest art institutions including the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and Tate Liverpool. The National Portrait Gallery released a statement apologizing to patrons and explaining that it was “necessary for some gallery rooms to be closed” due to the strike.

Walkouts are expected to continue through the weekend. Employees of the Natural History Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum are expected to participate in the strike but the institutions will remain open to the public. Workers at national heritage sites, including Stonehenge, are planning to take action on Sunday, June 2, 2013.

The nationwide strike is part of a three-month campaign over an ongoing dispute about workers’ rights. The PCS union, the largest civil service union in the UK, is planning a national strike to take place at the end of June.

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