The Duchess of Cambridge National Portrait Gallery patron joined, Princess Beatrice of York, Miles Aldridge, Phyllida Barlow, David and Victoria Beckham, Ozwald Boateng, Alexa Chung, Michael Craig-Martin, Lawrence Dallaglio, Jourdan Dunn, Christina Estrada, Jess Gillam, Bianca Jagger, Sir Don McCullin, Kate Moss, Duro Olowu, Martin Parr, Grayson Perry, Elizabeth Peyton, Nicola Roberts, Jenny Saville, Mike Skinner and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye were among the guests at the 2019 Portrait Gala, a special event held at the NPG on Tuesday 12 March.
The Inspiring People project will enable us to fulfill our unique role as the nation’s family album – Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, Director, NPG
The Duchess, who has been Patron of the Gallery since 2012, met members of the Gallery’s Youth Forum and Learning team, and viewed material from Creative Connections, a co-curated exhibition programme for young people, in which students create new art works alongside artists and a display of portraits from the Gallery’s Collection. Creative Connections will travel to Cornwall, Coventry, Sheffield and Southampton as part of the Gallery’s Inspiring People project, which will see a complete renewal of the Gallery, including a significant refurbishment of the building and an extensive programme of activities nationwide.
HRH The Duchess of Cambridge with members of the Gallery’s Youth Forum and Creative Connections team by Noah Goodrich / twobytwovideo.co.uk, 2019
The Gala, hosted by Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery and by Edward Enninful OBE, British Vogue Editor-in-Chief and Chair of the Portrait Gala Committee saw artists, friends and supporters of the Gallery come together for an evening of art, live music and entertainment to raise funds for the Inspiring People project.
The event itinerary included a DJ set by Mike Skinner; a live performance from saxophonist Jess Gillam and pianist Zeynep Özsuca; a photography studio by Miles Aldridge, set amongst the National Portrait Gallery’s Victorian Galleries, and a private view of the exhibitions Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard & Oliver and Only Human: Martin Parr.
David and Victoria Beckham; Grayson Perry; Dr Nicholas Cullinan and Kate Moss; Photography by Noah Goodrich / twobytwovideo.co.uk, 2019
Celebrated artists, designers and cultural organisations generously provided experiences as part of the silent auction at the event, including Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Victoria Beckham, Ozwald Boateng, Jamie Fobert, Erdem Moralioglu, Shirin Neshat, Martin Parr and Paul Smith, Chatsworth House, Houghton Hall and the Frick Collection.
In addition, a Mystery Miniatures sale included contemporary miniatures, inspired by the Elizabethan Treasures exhibition, by renowned portrait artists and photographers including Anderson & Low, John Swannell, Julia Fullerton-Batten, Bettina Von Zwehl and Humphrey Ocean. The artworks are all anonymous and sold for £350 on a first come, first served basis. The identity of the artist will be revealed when the works are sent out to those who have purchased them.
Funds raised from the Portrait Gala will support Inspiring People: Transforming our National Portrait Gallery, a £35.5m project which will see the Gallery’s biggest ever development since the building in St Martin’s Place, London opened in 1896, including restoring historic features and creating a new and more welcoming entrance and public forecourt on the building’s North Façade. The re-development plans also include a complete re-display and re-interpretation of the Gallery’s Collection; the return of the Gallery’s East Wing to public use as the new Weston Wing and a new Learning Centre for visitors of all ages.
In addition to the work at St Martin’s Place, Inspiring People will also see the Gallery’s most extensive programme of activities nationwide with plans to engage audiences’ onsite, locally, regionally and online. Activity includes a UK-wide schools programme for teaching history and art, a national skills-sharing collaboration with other museums and galleries and new partnerships with organisations throughout the country.
Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘We are delighted our Patron the Duchess of Cambridge was able to attend our fifth Portrait Gala, which was a truly special occasion. The Inspiring People project will enable us to fulfill our unique role as the nation’s family album, displaying our Collection in new and innovative ways and bringing British history and culture to life for the widest and most diverse audiences possible. The Gala is a wonderful opportunity to help the final stages of our fundraising campaign and bring us a step closer to transforming the National Portrait Gallery.’