National Portrait Gallery director Sandy Nairne to step down
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Thursday 12 June 2014
Sandy Nairne is to step down as head of the National Portrait Gallery in February after more than a decade at the helm.
The director, who has been hailed for boosting visitor numbers by 40 per cent, “wonderful” exhibitions and acquiring acclaimed work, announced today he was to leave in order to pursue his writing and advisory work.
“It has been a great privilege to lead such a special institution as the National Portrait Gallery, and I am very proud of what we have achieved over the past decade,” he said, adding that the gallery was “in very good shape and will go from strength to strength”.
Sir William Proby, chairman of the trustees, said Mr Nairne “has done a tremendous job and will be greatly missed. He has significantly increased visitor numbers, put on some wonderful exhibitions… and overseen many major commissions and acquisitions.”
Mr Nairne, who had been director of programmes at Tate, was appointed NPG director in November 2002, following the departure of Charles Saumarez Smith. At the time attendance annual figures were 1.4m; they have since risen past 2m.
Before the Tate, Mr Nairne had worked at the Arts Council of Great Britain, the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford.
Among the recent acclaimed exhibitions at the NPG under Nairne’s stewardship were Lucian Freud Portraits and the current Bailey’s Stardust exhibition of the photography of David Bailey.
During his tenure, the director oversaw the acquisition of the Van Dyck self-portrait earlier this year as well as the acquisition of a John Donne Portrait and Mark Quinn’s Self. He also commissioned portraits of Dame Judi Dench, Simon Weston and David Beckham.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
- 2 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
- 4 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 5 New Tricks: Dennis Waterman to leave the show after a decade of crime-solving
Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's 'Booty' music video is just a load of butts
Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since TV series ended in 2004
Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God