The National Portrait Gallery, London has announced Coming Home, a simple but powerful idea that will see the NPG lend 50 of their most beloved portraits to places across the country closely associated with that of the sitters. David Hockney will go to Bradford, Richard III to Leicester, Tracey Emin to Margate and William Wilberforce to Hull with many more to follow.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright made his first ministerial visit to the National Portrait Gallery today to launch Coming Home, which will allow the National Portrait Gallery to loan portraits of iconic individuals to places across the country they are most closely associated with. The new initiative will enable 50 portraits from the National Collection to travel to towns and cities across the UK from 2019 onwards and has been made possible by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and generous contributions from The Thompson Family Charitable Trust and funds raised at the Gallery’s Portrait Gala in 2017.
The programme is made possible by the DCMS, The Thompson Family Charitable Trust and funds raised at the Gallery’s Portrait Gala in 2017.
Sir Thomas Lawrence’s famous portrait of the person who led Britain’s campaign to abolish slavery and Yorkshire M.P., William Wilberforce will be exhibited in Hull, the place of his birth, for the first time as part of this major new project. Lawrence’s unfinished portrait of Wilberforce was one of the first works acquired by the National Portrait Gallery when it was established in 1856 and was said to capture ‘the intellectual power and winning sweetness of the veteran statesman’. The work will go on display in the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull in 2019.
Nicholas Cullinan said, “The idea is do something unique, ambitious, inclusive and truly national in scope and reach that fosters a sense of pride and connects local communities to a bigger national history, in our role as the nation’s family album.”
Coming Home will also see:
· The Gallery’s 16th-century portrait of Richard III loaned to the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in Leicester, the city in which the king was buried
· Emma Wesley’s portrait of Johnson Beharry, who served in the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment and is the first living British person, since 1965, to be awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in Iraq in 2004, travel to the PWRR & Queen’s Museum in Dover
· David Hockney’s Self-Portrait with Charlie go to Cartwright Hall Art Gallery in the artist’s hometown of Bradford
· Kate Peters’ photographic portrait of Sheffield-born athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill taken in 2012, when Ennis-Hill won the gold medal in the heptathlon with a British and Commonwealth record-breaking score, go on loan to Museums Sheffield
· Tracey Emin’s ‘Death Mask’ go on display in Emin’s hometown of Margate for the first time at Margate Library in partnership with Turner Contemporary