The National Gallery holds on behalf of the nation an unparalleled collection of major paintings spanning seven centuries and containing some of the most significant art in the western tradition. Trustees are responsible for the security and appropriate maintenance of the paintings in their care. The Gallery adds occasionally and judiciously to the collection and all Trustees participate in confidential discussion and decision making about possible acquisitions. Board meetings can be lengthy (4-5 hours) and each one begins with a visit to the Gallery’s conservation studio to approve conservation treatments of works from the collection and elsewhere, to consider acquisitions and loans to be made nationally and internationally from the collection. Sensitivity to the confidential nature of custodianship of such an important and precious collection of paintings is an important aspect of this role.

The collection belongs to the people of the United Kingdom. The Gallery aims to engage the widest possible audience by opening free of charge every day, by lending works to temporary exhibitions, through special public programmes and by digital means.  It aims to be a resource on art for the whole world to inspire present and future generations.

In 2024 the National Gallery will be 200 years old.  In our strategic plan 2021-2026 we set out four pillars of activity to show what the Gallery can be for our audiences in the future.  The Gallery at 200: we will transform the existing Sainsbury Wing entrance into a more open, inclusive and welcoming space, while extending into the public realm beyond the entrance to connect with Trafalgar Square.  We will refurbish the Learning Centre and the Research Centre and create a Supporter’s House.  

The Gallery across the Nation: we will celebrate with a year-long festival of creativity and share our collection across the UK.   Twelve masterpieces will visit twelve museums and galleries across every nation and region of the UK;a travelling art studio will tour the country throughout the year, bringing 200 workshops and learning activities to communities who would otherwise not have access to them.  We have commissioned artist Jeremy Deller to create a participatory work of art to celebrate the Bicentenary in 2025, and as part of Summer on the Square, we will host a festival in Trafalgar Square programmed for children, young people and their families.

The Gallery across the World: we will collaborate with 200 social media creators celebrating 200 years of the Gallery;we are creating an online film series that takes viewers behind the scenes of the National Gallery;and we will create a large-scale digital Gallery experience which will be available via the website.

Research for Public Benefit: Research underpins our entire programme of public engagement both digital and physical.  We are refurbishing the Research Centre and creating a digital dossier that will tell us the entire history of a painting in one place and which will be digitally available for everyone, everywhere.

John Booth Chair

Gabriele Finaldi Chief Executive

Why the National Gallery is supporting Boardroom Apprentice

At any one time the National Gallery Board consists of not less than 12 Trustees and not more than 14.  All Trustees except one are appointed by the Prime Minister and one Trustee is appointed by the Board of Tate.  The Trustees recognise that the Board could benefit from more regional diversity and youth.  The public appointments system is a lengthy and onerous one and the Board feels that the Board Apprenticeship scheme may be a good way of welcoming a younger and more regionally diverse Apprentice.  It is fully prepared to support the scheme throughout the year.

The National Gallery is constantly seeking ways to expand its audiences and its public programme.  It is the nation’s gallery and as it approaches its Bicentenary the Board welcomes the opportunity to support an apprentice and to hear fresh ideas and opinions.  It feels it is an exciting time for an apprentice to be involved with the Gallery.

Location of Board and Committee Meetings

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London

Frequency and timing of board/committee meetings

Board Meetings are held every other month, six times a year during the day, usually from 12.30-18.00

Audit, Finance and Ethics Committee meet quarterly during the day

Masterplan Committee meets every other month during the day

Nominations Committee meets ad hoc – a couple of times a year during the day

Governance Committee meets twice a year during the day

Date of Board Meetings (January 2024 – December 2024)

Thursday 1st February, Thursday 21st March, Thursday 23rd May, Thursday 11th July, Thursday 26th September, Thursday 21st November

Committee of the Boards and meeting dates (January 2024 – December 2024)

Audit and Finance Committees:

Tuesday 5th March

Tuesday 18th June

Tuesday 29th October

Monday 16th December

Ethics Committee:

Tuesday 5th March

Tuesday 18th June

Thursday 31st October

Wednesday 4th December

Masterplan Committee:

Monday 22nd January 

Monday 11th March

Monday 13th May

Thursday 20th June

Monday 16th September

Monday 11th November 

Nominations Committee: 2024 meetings to be confirmed.

Governance Committee: 2024 meetings to be confirmed.