Duchess of Cambridge to attend UK National Portrait Gallery gala

Duchess of Cambridge

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, on a January 2018 official visit to Stockholm, Sweden, with her husband, HRH Prince William. Photo by Frankie Fouganthin, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

LONDON – The Duchess of Cambridge will attend the 2019 Portrait Gala, a special event at the National Portrait Gallery, London on Tuesday, March 12. 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, will see artists, friends and supporters of the gallery come together for an evening of art, live music and entertainment to raise funds for the gallery’s Inspiring People project.
The event itinerary includes a DJ set by Mike Skinner; a live performance from saxophonist Jess Gillam and pianist Zeynep Özsuca; a photography studio by Miles Aldridge, set amongst 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 have generously provided experiences as part of the silent auction at the event, including Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Victoria Beckham, Ozwald Boateng, Erdem Moralioglu, Shirin Neshat, Martin Parr and Paul Smith, Chatsworth House, Houghton Hall and the Frick Collection.

In addition, a Mystery Miniatures sale will include 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 will be 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 £35.5m project for the complete renewal of the gallery. Inspiring People will see a significant refurbishment of the building, restoring historic features and creating a new and more welcoming entrance and public forecourt on the building’s North Façade. The re-development plans also include a complete re-display and re-interpretation of the gallery’s Collection; the return of the Gallery’s East Wing to public use as the new Weston Wing and a new Learning Centre for visitors of all ages.

In addition to the work at St Martin’s Place, Inspiring People will also see the gallery’s most extensive program of activities nationwide with plans to engage audiences’ onsite, locally, regionally and online. Activity includes a UK-wide schools program for teaching history and art, a national skills-sharing collaboration with other museums and galleries and new partnerships with organizations throughout the country. As part of this program the gallery will work with museums in Cornwall, Coventry, Sheffield and Southampton on the Creative Connections project; a co-curated exhibition program for young people, which will result in students creating new art works alongside artists and a display of portraits from the gallery’s collection at each venue. The Duchess of Cambridge will meet members of the gallery’s Youth Forum at the gala and view material from Creative Connections.

Dr Cullinan said: “We are delighted our Patron the Duchess of Cambridge is able to attend our fifth Portrait Gala, which promises to be a truly special occasion. The Inspiring People project will enable us to fulfill our unique role as the nation’s family album, displaying our collection in new and innovative ways and bringing British history and culture to life for the widest and most diverse audiences possible. The gala is a wonderful opportunity to help the final stages of our fundraising campaign and bring us a step closer to transforming the National Portrait Gallery.”

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