The National Portrait Gallery regrets the announcement that The Trustees at Bodelwyddan Castle have decided to end their partnership with the Gallery. The decision has been taken due to the costs associated with presenting works from a national collection at the Castle. We understand that it was with great reluctance that the Bodelwyddan Castle Trust have made this decision, but that they had no choice due to recent funding reductions from Denbighshire County Council.
The Castle has been home to displays of nineteenth century works from the Gallery's Collection since 1988 and won the Museum of the Year Award in 1989. In 2003 the Gallery helped create interactive displays and exhibition spaces on the Castle’s first floor and over the course of the partnership we have worked with the Trust to keep the displays professionally presented and relevant to audiences, investing in new lighting, interpretation, repair and maintenance. There are currently 155 portraits on display and the Castle has regularly hosted touring National Portrait Gallery exhibitions.
The Gallery is committed to making the national collection of British portraits available around the country through an active programme of partnerships and loaned works and was one of the first national museums to establish permanent displays from its collections outside London. The Gallery has lobbied both Denbighshire County Council and The Welsh Government to reconsider the decision to reduce funding. However, care of the Collection is paramount and the Gallery is, therefore, preparing for the removal of the works currently at Bodelwyddan. We are also actively investigating new options for their display.