The World’s Greatest Paintings: 200 Years of The National Gallery by Simon Whitehouse – Thursday 7 March 2024

2024 marks the bicentenary of the founding of the National Gallery. This lecture tells the story of the establishment of the NG collection beginning in 1824 when Lord Liverpool’s government purchased 38 paintings for £57,000 from the collection of businessman and philanthropist John Julius Angerstein.

The National Gallery Pall Mall

The paintings were initially displayed at 100 Pall Mall, Angerstein’s townhouse and by 1838, it was decided that a purpose built building was required, giving us the William Wilkins designed building we know and love on Trafalgar Square. During the course of the lecture we examine some of the high (and low) points of the early years of the gallery including suffragette sabotage, bombs and theft. We also take a close up look at some of the original “Angerstein 38” painting.

Simon Whitehouse

Simon is a (recovering) actor, lecturer, presenter, Alexander Technique and voice teacher and award winning London Blue Badge guide. He has worked as a guide lecturer in house at Shakespeare’s Globe, the Royal Opera House, the BBC and the National Gallery guiding both public and private tours. He is on the faculty of Ithaca College and also lectures for the Blue Badge Guide training course on the performing arts and English literature. Simon’s specialisms and passions are theatre, literature, fashion and art history but whatever the subject, Simon will weave a wonderful story from it.