LONDON – The Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Beatrice of York and numerous celebrities were among the guests at the 2019 Portrait Gala, a special event held at the National Portrait Gallery on Tuesday, March 12.
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 program for young people, in which students create new artworks 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 program of activities nationwide.
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 among 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.”
Celebrated artists, designers and cultural organizations 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 £35.5 million project that will see the gallery’s biggest ever development since the building in St. Martin’s Place, London opened in 1896.