National Portrait Gallery Director will Discuss “Great Britons: Making a National Portrait Gallery” on July 8 at the Clark

For Immediate Release

June 25, 2007

Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery in London, will examine the questions that lie behind the formation of the largest collection of portraits in the world during his lecture “Great Britons: Making a National Portrait Gallery” on Sunday, July 8 at 2 pm at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Admission to this event is free.

The National Portrait Gallery was founded in 1856, and since that date, with the famous “Chandos” portrait of William Shakespeare as the very first to enter the collection, the issues of fame and celebrity, but also of nationality and identity, have been in constant debate.

In the “museum of people” that is the National Portrait Gallery, is it the subject or the artist that matters most? Illustrated with examples both from the historic and contemporary collections, this lecture, which coincides with the exhibition Great Britons at the Smithsonian, will shed light on why the commissioning of portraits has become so important to the work of the gallery, and why digital and photographic portraits now sit side-by-side with paintings and sculptures.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, MA. The galleries are open daily from 10 am to 5 pm in July and August (closed Mondays September through June). Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and under, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit


Return to the previous page