National Portrait Gallery ends 30-year partnership with oil giant BP | Economic news

The National Portrait Gallery has become the latest institution to end its partnership with BP.

BP has sponsored the National Portrait Gallery’s annual Portrait of the Year award since 1989, but confirmed in a joint statement that they would not be renewing the partnership.

National Portrait Gallery Director Nicholas Cullinan said: “The Gallery is extremely grateful to BP for their long-term support of the BP Portrait Award.

“His funding for the prize has fostered creativity, encouraged portrait painting for over 30 years and given a platform to artists around the world, while inspiring and entertaining audiences across the UK.

“The Gallery is committed to working with artists and continuing to promote portraiture and we look forward to developing the future Portrait Prize as we plan to reopen in 2023.”

Other arts institutions such as the Tate and The Royal Shakespeare Company have already severed ties with BP, following environmental campaigns launched by artists and employees.

Co-director of the Culture Unstained campaign group, Jess Worth, said the announcement was “clearly a vote of no confidence in BP’s activities”.

“The company has spent 30 years painting itself an image as a responsible philanthropist, but it’s quickly running out of places to clean up its toxic image,” she said.

The announcement comes weeks after BP said it planned to “accelerate greening” the company, pledging to spend more on the transition to green energy.

Louise Kingham, Senior Vice President of BP, said: “We are extremely proud of our role in championing British arts and culture for over 30 years, but today’s BP is a very different company. of the beginning of our partnership with the National Portrait Gallery.

“As we go to net zero by 2050 and help the world get there too, we must look for new ways to best use our talent, experience and resources.”

Julia P. Cluff