April 17, 2011

Queen Exhibit: Edinburgh Belfast Cardiff London 2011-2012 exhibition organised by the National Portrait Gallery, London

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee's Travelling Exhibition 
The Queen: Art and Image 

A touring exhibition organised by the National Portrait Gallery, London, curated by Paul Moorhouse. From Beaton and Leibovitz to Annigoni and Warhol, THE QUEEN: ART AND IMAGE is the most wide-ranging exhibition of images in different media devoted to a single royal sitter. Formal painted portraits, official photographs, media pictures, and powerful responses by contemporary artists are showing in an exhibition which explores both traditional representations and works which extend the visual language of royal portraiture. 


National Gallery Complex Edinburgh 
25 June - 18 September 2011
Ulster Museum Belfast 
14 October 2011 - 15 January 2012
National Museum Cardiff 
4 February - 29 April 2012
National Portrait Gallery London 
17 May - 21 October 2012

To mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the National Portrait Gallery will stage an innovative touring exhibition bringing together 60 of the most remarkable and resonant images of Elizabeth II spanning the 60 years of her reign and some on public display for the first time. The Queen: Art and Image will tour to British venues before being shown in London, opening in Edinburgh in June, Belfast in October and Cardiff and London in 2012.  

Documenting the changing nature of representations of the Monarch, the exhibition will show how images serve as a lens through which to view shifting perceptions of royalty. This perspective reflects changes in the social scene and historical context and the exhibition highlights important developments and events: from The Queen’s relationship with the press and the miner’s strike, to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the advent of new technology. This textured view of the period is supplemented by archival material  – from newspapers to film footage, from postage stamps to consumer ephemera. 

Among the highlights  from the  works from life are Annigoni’s hugely popular  life-size 1969  commission for the National Portrait Gallery, Lucian Freud’s 2000-01 portrait from the Royal Collection and Justin Mortimer’s painting where The Queen’s head floats away from her body against a huge background of flat vibrant yellow.  Among the exhibited photographers for whom The Queen sat are Annie Leibovitz, Dorothy Wilding and Cecil Beaton - including his iconic Westminster Abbey Coronation image - and Chris Levine’s highly unusual photograph from a 2004 sitting of The Queen with her eyes closed. 

The Queen: Art and Image will show a significant selection of unofficial portraits of the British monarch from major 20th century artists including those of Gilbert and George, Andy Warhol and Gerhard Richter as well as less formal portraits by such photographers as Eve Arnold, Patrick Lichfield and Lord Snowdon.

Collectively, the exhibition celebrates and explores the startling range of artistic creativity and media-derived imagery that The Queen has inspired. It also probes the relation of this imagery to a world of changing values during a reign that has engaged the attention of millions.

Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, says: 'The Queen is the most portrayed person in British history, reflecting her long reign and also the respect and affection which is felt towards her. The Diamond Jubilee is a wonderful celebration and the National Portrait Gallery is very pleased to be sharing this exhibition with our other national partners in Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff.’ 

James Holloway, Director of Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, says: ‘I am delighted that Scotland will be able to enjoy this remarkable jubilee exhibition, which will be presented in the heart of the capital city of Her Majesty’s Stewart ancestors.’

Jim McGreevy, Director of Collections & Interpretation, National Museums Northern Ireland, said: ‘We are pleased to participate in this UK wide tour of The Queen: Art and Image. This novel exhibition offers our visitors an opportunity to see the work of world-renowned artists and photographers such as Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, Annie Leibovitz and Lord Snowden for the first time at the Ulster Museum. Across six decades the works on display chart the changing portrayal of a Monarch whose image has, of course, had such global and local significance.

David Anderson, Director General of Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, says: ‘Amgueddfa Cymru is pleased to be working in collaboration with the UK’s other national museums. This is an example of how effective partnerships between museums and galleries can make works by such influential artists such as Andy Warhol and Gerhard Richter, accessible to visitors across the country.’

About the Curator
The exhibition is curated by Paul Moorhouse, the National Portrait Gallery’s 20th Century Curator. At the National Portrait Gallery he has curated the major retrospectives: Gerhard Richter Portraits and Pop Art Portraits. As part of the Gallery’s on-going Interventions series of displays he has curated John Gibbons: Portraits, Frank Auerbach: Four Portraits of Catherine Lampert, Andy Warhol: 10 Portraits of Jews of the 20th Century and Anthony Caro: Portraits.  


National Gallery Complex, Edinburgh, 25 June - 18 Sept 2011

Ulster Museum, Belfast, 14 October 2011 - 15 Jan 2012
Website: www.nmni.com

National Museum Cardiff, 4 February - 29 April 2012

National Portrait Gallery, London, 17 May - 21 Oct 2012

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue, with essays by historian and writer Sir David Cannadine and curator Paul Moorhouse and featuring over 60 portraits. Published by the National Portrait Gallery, London, priced £30 (hardback). Available June 2011.

London presentation sponsored by KPMG 
John Griffith-Jones, Senior Partner and Chairman of KPMG in the UK, says: ‘KPMG is pleased to support what will be a fascinating visual chronology of The Queen’s reign. With such a wide range of imagery and artistic styles, I am sure the exhibition will be of huge interest to many people, and will form a significant part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

National Portrait Gallery's Spring Season 2012, sponsored by Herbert Smith LLP

Edinburgh presentation sponsored by Turcan Connell 
Douglas Connell, Joint Senior Partner of Turcan Connell, says:  ‘As we move towards this historic anniversary of Her Majesty's accession, Turcan Connell is delighted that this wonderful exhibition opens at the National Galleries of Scotland and that we in Scotland will have the first chance to view this very special range of images.’

St Martin’s Place 

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