The Portrait Gala 2014 – Collecting to Inspire
Sandy Nairne CBE
On Tuesday 11 February 2014, the National Portrait Gallery held its third Portrait Gala. We were honoured that our Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, joined us for the evening along with friends of the Gallery, individual and corporate supporters, artists and prominent individuals.
It was a wonderful evening at which guests enjoyed a Laurent-Perrier champagne reception followed by dinner across the entire second floor galleries. Guests were treated to a unique performance by The Portrait Choir who were joined by special guest Sir Willard White and there was the chance to participate in a range of fundraising activities. Guests could win one of forty luxury prizes by taking part in our Raffle, purchase a Mystery Portrait Postcard, created exclusively by artists and well-known individuals or a Pen Portrait, 13 prose ‘Portraits’ written by well-known authors. After dinner guests bid in a live auction led by Sotheby’s for items which included a work by Mark Quinn, a head and shoulders portrait commission from Jonathan Yeo and the chance to help curate the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014.
The 2014 Portrait Gala took its focus from the Gallery’s Collection and some of the funds raised have gone in to our Portrait Fund. Since 2006, when the Portrait Fund was established, we have acquired a number of exceptional historic portraits including John Donne, Lady Dacre, John Fletcher, Richard Arkwright and most recently Lady Anne Clifford. The funds will also support our day-to-day work, ensuring our exceptional Collection is cared for through appropriate display, storage and conservation; which will mean we can continue to inspire generations by sharing the Collection as widely as possible. The Heritage Lottery Fund and Department for Culture, Media and Sport Catalyst: Endowments award, a match-funding scheme, means too that our Gala has been twice as worthwhile as we are able to double some of the money raised.
As always with a large event there are many individuals to thank. I would like to say a special thank you to Leon Max, our Lead Sponsor, and the other supporters, donors and in-kind sponsors as well as the artists and writers who contributed to our fundraising activities. Our thanks go to our Chair, Juliet Stevenson, Deputy Chair, David Ross and the Portrait Gala Committee, all of whom gave their time to help make this evening the success it was.On these pages you will find more details about our sponsors and supporters as well as a chance to watch a short and inspiring film that shows an incredible cross section of the exciting work of the National Portrait Gallery.