Sandy Nairne: After 12 years at the National Portrait Gallery, London, Nairne will leave in 2015 to pursue his writing and artworks. At NPG, he is admired and celebrated for his work. He has not only attracted record visitors to the institution, he has also organized several sellout exhibitions. Eamonn Mccabe. Courtesy of NPG.
LONDON— After 12 years Sandy Nairne has decided to step down in February 2015 as director of the National Portrait Gallery, London. This will enable him pursue his writing and advisory work. Sandy Nairne CBE, FSA was appointed as Director from November 2002. He was previously Director of Programmes at Tate, and before that worked at the Arts Council of Great Britain, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (now Modern Art Oxford).
Since the announcement was made, there have been so much regrets from those who do not want him to leave. Many have also not held back on their praise for Nairne, whose service at the museum has been described as exemplary.
Speaking about the decision to step down, Sandy Nairne says: ‘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. The fact that two million visitors now come each year to visit exhibitions, take part in activities or see displays of this amazing Collection in London, as well as around the country or online, is testimony to the dedication of all who work at the Gallery and those who support it in so many different ways. The Gallery is in very good shape and will go from strength to strength.’
Sir William Proby, Chairman of the Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery, London, explained that: ‘Sandy has done a tremendous job at the National Portrait Gallery and he will be greatly missed. He has significantly increased visitor numbers, put on some wonderful exhibitions, such as Lucian Freud Portraits, and overseen many major commissions and acquisitions, including the Van Dyck self-portrait this year. He has built a very strong team and prepared them well for the future. On behalf of all my fellow Trustees I would like to thank him for his exemplary leadership and wish him well for the future.’