Revamped National Portrait Gallery: A Truly Representative Reopening


After three years of work, the famous National Portrait Gallery in London reopens its doors to the public and wants to be more “representative of the United Kingdom of today”.

A long-awaited exhibition of never-before-seen photos of the Beatles marks the return of this museum after work valued at 41.3 million pounds (48 million euros), which notably made it possible to create new places for the public, a new entrance and a learning center.

Furthermore, the museum wanted to make a “rebalancing in what we exhibit, so that it is more inclusive and representative of the UK of today”, explained Alison Smith, chief curator at the National Portrait Gallery.

“Before closing, there were more portraits of men than women. We looked into the matter and today 48% of the works exhibited are portraits of women. »

“We made the exhibition more representative of the UK in terms of ethnicity, social class, disability,” she says.

British artist Tracey Emin, for example, was commissioned to create an art installation in the gallery.

Her work, The Doors, depicts 45 female faces, cast in bronze and placed on the doors of the National Portrait Gallery.

Five self-portraits by female artists were also acquired to shed light on the often overlooked stories of the women who helped shape British history, the museum said.

The main exhibition of the summer, however, will be devoted to the most famous of English groups, with more than 250 never-before-seen photos of the Beatles taken by singer Paul McCartney.

Thus article is originally published on


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