Mary Freer by John Constable, 1809 - © Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

Mary Freer
by John Constable, 1809
© Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

Sandy Nairne – Director

On Tuesday 3 March 2009, the National Portrait Gallery held its second Portrait Gala. Joanna Trollope, Chair of our Portrait Gala Committee, friends of the Gallery, individual and corporate supporters, artists and prominent individuals attended the Portrait Gala.

It was a very special evening; guests enjoyed a champagne reception followed by a splendid dinner, as well as music and artistic entertainment. Guests also participated in some fundraising activities. They were able to win some amazing luxury prizes by taking part in our Giving Tree, to purchase Mystery Portrait Postcards, created exclusively by artists and well-known individuals close to the Gallery, and Pen Portraits, ten prose ‘Portraits’ written by well-known authors. Guests were also able to bid in a live auction led by Sotheby’s for items which included an opportunity to have their photograph taken by David Bailey, their portrait created by Julian Opie, a head-and-shoulders painting of them by Jonathan Yeo or to help curate the annual BP Portrait Award in 2010.  

Funds raised will go to our Education Programme and enable the Gallery to bring to life the remarkable stories of achievement that provide inspiration to learners of all ages. By working directly with artists and educators the aim is to expand the stimulating learning experiences in the Gallery and, through outreach in the community, to meet a wide range of interests, abilities and ages.

I would like to thank Access Industries, our Gala Lead Sponsor, and all our other supporters, donors and sponsors as well as the artists and the writers who contributed to our fundraising activities. I would also like to thank Joanna Trollope and the Portrait Gala Committee.

On these pages, you will find more details about our sponsors and supporters as well as a chance to watch a film which introduces our Education work.

As always with a large event there are many individuals to thank. Can I take this opportunity to thank them all for their contributions – the Gallery is hugely grateful.