The Gallery is committed to making the national collection of British portraits available around the country through an active national programme of partnerships, events and loaned works.
This exciting project sees the Gallery sending portraits of iconic individuals to places they are closely associated with. This country-wide initiative will enable fifty portraits from the national Collection to travel to towns and cities across the UK, providing venues and communities with the opportunity to celebrate their local heroes.
Montacute House in Somerset (National Trust) displays works from the 16-17th century alongside a programme of changing displays and exhibitions, events and activities produced in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery.
Collaborations and partnerships
In 2020, the Gallery launched its National Skills & Knowledge Exchange Programme with partner museums in Belfast, Nottingham, Plymouth and Sudbury, followed by a further eight other locations, to create a UK wide learning network involving collaborative displays, exchanges, mentoring, seminars and internships. Each organisation will have the opportunity to create a bespoke programme that fits their needs.
During the Gallery’s closed period, exhibitions collaborations are taking place with The Holburne Museum, Bath, National Museums Liverpool, York Museums Trust, Museums Sheffield and Hay Castle, Hay on Wye.
The Gallery is the lead partner for the Subject Specialist Network: Understanding British Portraits.
Inspiring People across the UK
The Gallery’s transformational Inspiring People project includes an extensive programme of nationwide activities. Over the next three years, ambitious partnerships with museums, local community groups and schools will bring the Gallery closer to communities across the UK. Download the PDF to find out how we are engaging with different areas.
The Gallery tours exhibitions that have been shown at the Gallery in London to venues across the UK. Recent exhibitions include Hold Still on display at the National Memorial Arboretum, the BP Portrait Award 2020 at Aberdeen Art Gallery, and the forthcoming Tudors to Windsors at the National Maritime Museum. Some of our exhibitions that would currently tour are now available online.
The Gallery has over 1150 loans on long term loan to 173 venues. It also has an energetic programme of lending to exhibitions organised by other UK venues and for works in focus displays. For more information about how to borrow from the National Portrait Gallery Collection please see below. Please note that we are currently unable to process new requests for loans between 2021 and 2023 as we are at capacity with our existing national and international programme, and the completion of our Inspiring People project. We apologise for any inconvenience caused during this time.
View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.
Artist and sitter interviews
Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.
Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.