The National Gallery: A Short History

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Frances Lincoln Limited Publishers, 2009 - Art - 192 pages
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Charles Saumarez Smith was the director of the National Gallery from 2002 to 2007, a period in which he oversaw the purchase of Raphael's The Madonna of the Pinks for a record 22 million, raised in part by his successful campaign for public contributions. His insider's perspective gives him invaluable insight into the challenges faced by his predecessors as they managed the Gallery's collection from very modest origins to its status as a world-class institution and major tourist destination. This literate yet movingly personal book reveals the contentious issues that surround the way a national collection is acquired, preserved, restored, and displayed; the complex, competitive relationship between director, trustees, and government; architectural and aesthetic controversies; and the future of the Gallery in an increasingly uncertain and overly commercialized art marketplace.

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About the author (2009)

Charles Saumarez Smith is the Director of the National Portrait Gallery. He is a member of the editorial board of Art History and an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art.

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