History of Art Major Chooses Two Art Charities In Five Official Patronages
St James’s Palace has announced the choices of patronage for the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton Windsor. It is no surprise that they include two high profile visual art organisations. The National Portrait gallery and as reported on ArtLyst, in November and December, The Art Room, a small charity based in Oxford and London, which uses art to provide therapy for children and young people with challenges.
The Founder Director of The Art Room Juli Beattie said: “This is wonderful news. On behalf of all of our Trustees and staff and the children and young people we support, I want to thank The Duchess for choosing The Art Room. It is a fantastic endorsement of the work we do and the role that art and creativity can play in helping children and young people whose start in life has been difficult.” The Art Room will now be invited to join The Princes’ Forum, an initiative started by The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry in 2006 to bring together their charitable interests. The forum will consist of 32 organisations once the organisations affiliated to The Duchess are included.
The other charities reflect her interests in the promotion of outdoor activity and supporting people in need of all ages. Action on Addiction, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and she will also become a volunteer in the Scout Association.
The National Portrait Gallery was Founded in 1856 with the aim ‘to promote through the medium of portraits the appreciation and understanding of the men and women who have made and are making British history and culture, and to promote the appreciation and understanding of portraiture in all media’. Chairman of the National Gallery’s trustees, Professor Sir David Cannadine said: “This is a matter of great pleasure for the Trustees of the Gallery and all its staff and supporters and we much look forward to working with her in the future.”
The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. The Collection is displayed in London and in a number of locations around the United Kingdom, including several houses managed by the National Trust. The Gallery is increasingly keen to find new ways to share the Collection through the National Programmes, as well as through this website. Like other national museums, the Gallery is supported both by government and increasingly by a large number of individuals, companies, trusts and foundations, as well as by the receipts from ticketed exhibitions, shops, catering and events.
Director, Sandy Nairne has stated; “The Gallery aims to bring history to life through its extensive display, exhibition, research, learning, outreach, publishing and digital programmes. These allow us to stimulate debate and to address questions of biography, diversity and fame which lie at the heart of issues of identity and achievement. The National Portrait Gallery aims to be the foremost centre for the study of and research into portraiture, as well as making its work and activities of interest to as wide a range of visitors as possible”. He is delighted to have the Duchess of Cambridge as a patron. He added; “The gallery has never had “a patron with a capital P. Perhaps we’ve never had anyone like the Duchess of Cambridge offering, but if it helps us extend our work to more people, that is fantastically important for the organisation.”
The Duchess of Cambridge graduated from University of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland, where she achieved an undergraduate MA (2:1 Hons) in History of Art. She also spent a semester in Florence studying Italian Renaissance art. It was reported that she wanted to become a professional photographer, before working in the fashion industry for three years.