1917 - National Photographic Record set up, leading to a collection of over 10,000 commissioned photographic portraits of leading officeholders in British society, taken 1917-71 by three nominated photographers, Walter Stoneman, Walter Bird and Godfrey Argent

Three group portraits commissioned to commemorate the First World War (given by Sir Abe Bailey): General Officers by John Singer Sargent, Naval Officers by Sir Arthur Cope and Statesman by Sir James Guthrie, the latter completed 1930

1930 - Contemporary Portraits Fund set up, with support from Sir Joseph Duveen, Mrs Maclachlan and the National Art Collections Fund, to acquire portraits, primarily drawings, of distinguished contemporaries, to enter the collection following their death, leading to six commissioned portraits

The Royal Lodge, Windsor commissioned from Sir James Gunn

1968 - Queen Elizabeth II commissioned from Pietro Annigoni (given by Sir Hugh Leggatt) and exhibited 1970

1969 - Portraits of the living now admissible to the collection, following relaxation of rule restricting collecting, but not to be exhibited until after their death

1972 - A separate Contemporary Portrait Collection established to allow the Director to acquire portraits that would be submitted for inclusion in the permanent collection in due course. Unsuccessful investigations of possible commissioned portraits of the Queen Mother, the Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister

1980 - Bryan Organ's portrait of Prince Charles , inaugurates an active programme of commissions. Annual Portrait Award for painters under 40 introduced and twelve portraits commissioned from Portrait Award winner s 1980-9 with support from Imperial Tobacco

1981 - First commissioned sculpture, Franta Belsky's bronze head of Queen Elizabeth II

1984 - Portrait of Margaret Thatcher unveiled

1987 - First commissioned photograph, David Buckland's cibachrome of athlete Daley Thompson

1988 - Kenyon Fund set up, with support from former Gallery chairman, Lord Kenyon, to commission drawings

1989 - Fiftieth commission unveiled, Martin Rose's painting of composer Michael Tippett

1990 - Fourteen portraits commissioned from Portrait Award winners with support from BP, 1990-2006

1992 - Two portraits rejected, depicting William Whitelaw and Alan Bennett , but versions subsequently accepted

1993 - Various portraits unveiled to celebrate the enlarged 20th century galleries in the newly opened Gallery extension

Madhur Jaffrey
by Barry Marsden
6 October 1998
NPG P718(14)

1994 - Photographs of leading scientists commissioned with help from Cable & Wireless plc

1998 - Art of Cooking exhibition celebrates first of new series of photographic commissions

2000 - Opening of the Ondaatje Wing commemorated in commissioned painting of opening ceremony and photographs of the building works

2001 - The Wellcome Trust supports DNA portrait of Sir John Sulston

2001 - Jerwood Foundation agrees to support portraits of young achievers in the arts, leading to a portrait of Thomas Adès and a group portrait, Three Royal Court Theatre Directors

2002 - Fund for New Commissions set up, with support from JPMorgan, leading to portraits of David Beckham and Dame Judi Dench

2003 - Deloitte Acquisition Fund set up, with support from Deloitte, to acquire and commission contemporary photographic portraits, leading to photographs of leaders in the world of telecommunications and other non-commissioned photographs