The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

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Research partnerships

John Ruskin
by Sir Hubert von Herkomer
NPG 1336

The Gallery works with a wide range of individuals and organisations both as collaborators on research programmes and as funding partners.  These can be one-off collaborations with scholars involved in curating exhibitions or contributing to the Gallery’s publications and learning programme to institutional collaborations such as our work with the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.  

The Gallery is recognised as an Independent Research Organisation by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and strongly endorses the Council’s emphasis on collaborative working with the Higher Education sector.  It also has working relationships with institutions in the teaching of courses and the presentation of academic conferences.  Recent and current collaborators include the Central School of Speech and Drama, the Courtauld Institute of Art, the Institute of Historical Research, King’s College London, Queen Mary College, the Royal College of Art, the University of Bristol, the University of Sussex, the University of York and the  University of Westminster. It has also contributed to projects such as the AHRC Early British Printed Images project based at Birkbeck College, the British Cartoon Forum and the Public Catalogue Foundation and supported independent projects such as the de László catalogue project and the Oxford Portraits project.

Major funding partners of recent years include The Getty Foundation, The Leverhulme Trust and The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.  Should you wish to know more about research partnerships with the Gallery please contact Charlotte Bolland, Senior Curator, Research and 16th Century Collections on 020 7321 6678 or at [email protected].

The Gallery leads the Understanding British Portraits network in partnership with the National Trust, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, and Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives. The network encourages skills-sharing among curatorial and learning professionals working with British portraits, and British portrait collections. Its range of activities include a programme of seminars and tours of private collections, annual bursaries, collection and expertise mapping, and online resources. Please visit the network’s website for more details, and to sign up to its e-newsletter.

The Gallery is part of the REACH Consortium (Revisiting and Enhancing Approaches to Collections and Heritage) with Royal Museums Greenwich, the National Trust, Historic Royal Palaces and the British Film Institute, with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for Collaborative Doctoral Partnership studentships (CDPs). These studentships provide opportunities for interdisciplinary research, knowledge exchange and training.

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