Nicholas Penny

Nicholas Penny to retire in 2015

Rebecca Atkinson, 23.06.2014
National Gallery starts search for new director
Nicholas Penny has announced that he will retire as director of the National Gallery next year.

He will remain at the London gallery until a successor has been appointed.

In a statement, Penny said: “I have enjoyed my years as director and am grateful to the trustees, staff and to the gallery’s supporters for helping to ensure that the gallery has continued to prosper despite a steadily declining grant – to flourish both as a great and popular resource and as a home for scholarship, a national gallery admired internationally."

The art historian has been director at the National Gallery for six years, having previously held the position of Clore curator of Renaissance painting between 1990 and 2000.

Penny then spent two years as the Andrew W Mellon Professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts between 2000 and 2002, before taking up the position of senior curator of sculpture and decorative arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington until 2008.

In 2013, annual visitors to the National Gallery exceeded six million for the first time.

Mark Getty, chairman of the National Gallery's board of trustees, said: “Nick has been an extraordinarily successful director of the National Gallery, steering the nation’s acquisition of the two great Titian paintings, Diana and Actaeon and Diana and Callisto jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland, and this year securing the acquisition of the gallery’s first major American painting, Men of the Docks by George Bellows.

“The board are hugely grateful to him for his energy, vision and commitment to the gallery’s work. We will miss him greatly.”  

Earlier this month Sandy Nairne announced he would step down as director of the National Portrait Gallery in London to pursue his writing and advisory work.

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