Serpentine charity boss Julia Peyton-Jones took 60 per cent pay rise

Gallery attacked for spending too much of its budget on senior salaries

The two co-directors of the Serpentine Gallery, a registered charity, were paid at least 45 per cent more last year than in 2011, The Independent has learnt.

Julia Peyton-Jones’s package puts her among the highest-paid directors of any arts institution, despite the Serpentine being relatively small and the sector as a whole being affected by significant funding cuts. Her earnings, including bonus and other benefits, rose by approximately 60 per cent to between £140,000 and £150,000, according to the latest 2012 published accounts.

The figures were revealed by leading arts commentator David Lee, prompting him to launch a devastating attack on the gallery. Mr Lee said that Ms Peyton-Jones is only running “a small gallery in a former tearoom” in Hyde Park, which does not even have its own collection.

Ms Peyton-Jones’s package exceeds the £140,000 paid to National Gallery director Nicholas Penny, who presides over a world class collection and international scholarly exhibitions and approaches that of the Tate’s director, Nicholas Serota, who manages a vast collection on a salary and benefits deal of around £160,000. He declined a 2012 bonus “in view of the pay freeze” at the institution.

The Serpentine’s co-director Hans-Ulrich Obrist, although not listed as a company director in the accounts, also saw his package  increase from at least £80,000 to within the range of £120,000 to £130,000 in 2012.

Mr Lee also criticised the Arts Council, which he said had “screamed hourly” in 2011 that it was losing over 30 per cent of its taxpayer subsidy and warning of “hard choices” ahead. Its choice was to abolish grants to some 200 organisations, making many redundant. The Serpentine, however, was awarded special status as a “regularly funded organisation”. The Serpentine gets around £1.2m from the Arts Council, about a fifth of the gallery’s costs.

Mr Lee added that the increases came during a period of austerity “when fat cats in the City were being excoriated daily”. He is calling for the Charity Commission to “investigate this profligacy” urgently, and for the Serpentine’s subsidy to be suspended “immediately”. His criticisms will be published on Thursday in The Jackdaw, the satirical art magazine.

Mr Lee writes that the directors “do not deserve anywhere near” what they receive from an institution which has also “enjoyed” 12 National Lottery awards totalling £6.8m.

Mr Lee also questions why Jake and Dinos Chapman “need another [current] exhibition at the subsidised Serpentine” when they have exhibited extensively at public galleries and their dealer has two available big London premises. He claims that the Serpentine shows too much art that is already available at major dealers’ commercial premises.

A Serpentine spokesman said that the rise was due to “bonuses against fundraising” which are “quite normal in the cultural sector” – even though fundraising is a major part of the gallery’s revenue, and therefore, of the job.

“We do not release individual salaries,” the spokesman added. “These figures are made up of key individuals’ ‘whole packages’ and includes pension and National Insurance contributions.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck, finds himself at the centre of a media storm when his wife is reported missing and assumed dead

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lindsay Lohan made her West End debut earlier this week in 'Speed-the-Plow'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Artist Nathan Sawaya stands with his sculpture 'Yellow' at the Art of Brick Exhibition

art
Arts and Entertainment
'Strictly Come Dancing' attracted 6.53 million viewers on Friday
tv
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant plays Detective Emmett Carver in the US version on Broadchurch

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor goes undercover at Coal Hill School in 'The Caretaker'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ni , Rock of Rah, Vanuatu: The Ni live on one of the smallest islands of Vanuatu; Nelson flew five hours from Sydney to capture the 'isolation forged by their remoteness'
photographyJimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style
Arts and Entertainment
David Byrne
musicDavid Byrne describes how the notorious First Lady's high life dazzled him out of a career low
Arts and Entertainment
Sergeant pfeffer: Beatles in 1963
booksA song-by-song survey of the Beatles’ lyrics
Arts and Entertainment
music'I didn't even know who I was'
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl was left in a conundrum with too much talent and too few seats during the six-chair challenge stage
tvReview: It was tension central at boot camp as the ex-Girls Aloud singer whittled down the hopefuls
Arts and Entertainment
Kalen Hollomon's Anna Wintour collage

art
Arts and Entertainment

TV Grace Dent on TV
Arts and Entertainment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

music
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer is believed to be playing a zombie wife in Patient Zero

film
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Gatiss says Benedict Cumberbatch oozes sex appeal with his 'Byronic looks' and Sherlock coat
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Clothing items bearing the badge have become popular among music aficionados
musicAuthorities rule 'clenched fist' logo cannot be copyrighted
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson will star in Seth MacFarlane's highly-anticipated Ted 2

film
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in 'Gone Girl'

film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
    Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

    Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

    Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
    Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

    Education, education, education

    TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
    It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

    It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

    So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
    This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

    Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

    Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
    We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

    Inside the E15 'occupation'

    We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
    Witches: A history of misogyny

    Witches: A history of misogyny

    The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
    Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
    'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style