Trusts and Foundations

The National Portrait Gallery is extremely grateful for the support of charitable grant-making Trusts and Foundations who help to fund many aspects of the Gallery's work.

As a charity, the Gallery relies on grants and donations. Important projects, such as those outlined here, would not have been possible without the generosity of grant-makers who share our passion for portraiture and creative learning.

Conservation

Inspiring People, the National Portrait Gallery’s major transformation project, offered a rare opportunity for conservation work to take place. We are grateful to the Leche Trust for awarding a grant to undertake vital conservation treatment of one of our most significant works – Katherine Parr NPG 4451 – a work that has been on almost permanent display since it was acquired in 1965.

This remarkable full-length portrait of Henry VIII’s sixth wife is one of the earliest surviving full-length portraits to be made in England. Thanks to the grant from the Leche Trust, we have been able to undertake a programme of conservation, including analysis of the materials used, which include silver, gold, and blue azurite; as well as cleaning and varnish removal to reveal the original paint layers and restore the original colour and detail of this exceptional work.

 

Gallery development

A two-year grant from the Getty Foundation has supported a curator, Tanya Bentley, to develop a new display of the Lucian Freud Archive, which has almost never been seen by the public. This is part of the new permanent galleries opening in 2023 and will be three-year display, rotating material through three thematic presentations until 2025. Tanya is also building on the curatorial research and thematic areas to create an interactive digital display that will be available within the new gallery.

Learning

The Mercers’ Company are supporting a new Early Years education programme and school outreach programme, ‘Places and Faces’ across a three-year partnership. With the Mercers’ Company support, these programmes respond to a vital need to provide creative learning opportunities for people of all ages and all backgrounds. The Early Years programme addresses this often overlooked but important developmental stage and the school outreach programme has engaged with school children across London who have never visited the Gallery before. The partnership will have lasting positive impact, providing high-quality creative learning, and building relationships with the Gallery (and the museum sector) that could last a lifetime.

Research

In 2021 the Gallery was pleased to receive a grant from the UKRI-AHRC ‘Capability for Collections Fund’ to allow the urgent replacement and upgrade of equipment and instruments in conservation and digitisation. The Gallery has a strong track record of investment in its research infrastructure; however its suite of imaging equipment had become at risk of obsoletion. The award from the Capability for Collections Fund has transformed the Gallery’s research capability and has played a dynamic role in research and development for new displays for Inspiring People.