Opening of the Ondaatje Wing, National Portrait Gallery, in the Presence of Queen Elizabeth II, 4 May 2000

1 portrait

Opening of the Ondaatje Wing, National Portrait Gallery, in the Presence of Queen Elizabeth II, 4 May 2000, by John Stanton Ward, 2000-2001 - NPG 6601 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Opening of the Ondaatje Wing, National Portrait Gallery, in the Presence of Queen Elizabeth II, 4 May 2000

by John Stanton Ward
oil on canvas, 2000-2001
20 in. x 24 in. (507 mm x 608 mm)
Given by John Morton Morris, 2001
Primary Collection
NPG 6601


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  • John Stanton Ward (1917-2007), Portrait painter, book illustrator and architectural draughtsman. Artist of 15 portraits, Sitter in 8 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Painted to commemorate the Royal opening of the Ondaatje Wing, this oil sketch continues the tradition of the Gallery commissioning paintings to record the architectural development of the building. HM the Queen is depicted presenting her speech in the main hall. Working on the painting in situ, Ward has paid close attention to the feeling of space and light created by Dixon and Jones. The artist's passion for drawing buildings grew out of his first visit to Italy as a young man. After studying at the Royal College of Art under Gilbert Spencer, Ward served with the Royal Engineers during the Second World War. He worked as an illustrator for Vogue before deciding to concentrate on portraiture. Elected to the Royal Academy in 1956, he resigned in 1997. Awarded a CBE in 1985.

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Current affairs

The world celebrates the start of a new millennium. Britain marks the occasion with a series of new buildings and landmarks including the Millennium Dome, the London Eye, the Millennium Bridge, and the Millennium Stadium. While the Dome was criticised by politicians and the public for wasting public funds, and the Bridge suffered initial stability problems, other projects have become major landscape and public attractions.

Art and science

Tate Modern opens as a national gallery of international modern art under the directorship of Nicholas Serota. The gallery, housed in the former Bankside Power Station, took the novel step of arranging the collection by theme rather than chronologically. As well as the collection galleries, Tate Modern has two large temporary exhibition spaces, and commissions installation projects for the enormous Turbine Hall.

International

British troops are deployed to Sierra Leone to establish order and evacuate foreign nationals from the country torn apart by civil war. Following a ceasefire President Kabbah declared the civil war officially over in 2002. George W. Bush becomes President of the United States after a close election where he lost the popular vote, but won the electoral vote thanks to a controversial Supreme Court decision on Florida.

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