London’s National Portrait Gallery to close for three years for major renovation

The National Portrait Gallery in London plans to close its doors for three years to complete the largest restoration project in its history? The museum opened in St Martin’s Place in 1896. The $ 46 million redesign will be led by Jamie Fobert Architects, who will work in partnership with Purcell, and will include the construction of a new visitor entrance on the north facade of the gallery, improving accessibility, preserving the historic features of the building and relocating the entire gallery collection through forty renovated galleries and the previously closed east wing institution.

“This is a unique and important chapter in our history as we begin our journey to create a transformed National Portrait Gallery, which will allow us to become more welcoming and engaging for all and fulfill our role as a family album. of the nation, ”said the museum director. Nicholas Cullinan told the BBC. The gallery recently received a $ 12 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support the project, as well as $ 8 million from the trustees of the Garfield Weston Foundation, and estimates it will raise the remainder of its target funds this fall. .

Since the museum will be temporarily closed from June 29, 2020 through spring 2023, a spokesperson told the Art journal that there will be “some job losses”, but “where possible staff will be given opportunities for part-time work and career breaks”. The gallery also said that a few off-site positions may be available at institutions where the gallery will present exhibitions and other programs during the closure.

He currently plans to send over three hundred portraits to the York Art Gallery, the National Museums of Liverpool, the Laing Art Gallery and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, among other museums over the next three years. She will also loan several pieces to her neighbor, the National Gallery, and present a selection of Tudor portraits at the Holburne Museum in Bath in 2022.


Julia P. Cluff