The National Portrait Gallery Is Making Its Grand Return Next Year

After three years of closure, it has now been announced that the world-renowned National Portrait Gallery will make its return on June 22, 2023.

Having been open since 1856, the building has been receiving its most extensive redevelopment project since the close of the 19th century—1896, to be precise! The gallery shut in June 2020, and new works will include a brand new entrance to increase the capacity.

At first, it was thought the gallery – which houses over 215,000 works – would reopen in spring 2022, but Covid-induced delays to building mean it will come a few months after this initial prediction. By the sounds of it, the new-look gallery will be worth the wait.

What’s new at the National Portrait Gallery?

We mentioned the brand new entrance, which comes alongside the forecourt on the North Façade of the Gallery. Plus the upgrades to spaces means the entire collection at the gallery can be displayed, meaning you can take in more art than ever at their space.

The East Wing, which was part of the 1896 revamp, is also making a return; now named the Weston Wing. Office spaces that temporally held part of the space are being transformed into top lit galleries on the first floor. There’s also a brand new learning centre to transform the education the gallery can deliver.

Taking to Instagram to share the news that will excite the world of art, the famous gallery’s account said:

“Today is the day that we have all been waiting for… we are excited to announce that our doors will reopen to the public on 22 June 2023. ⁠

“Having been closed since 2020, the Gallery has been undergoing its most extensive redevelopment since 1896. ⁠Supported by major grants from the Blavatnik Family Foundation, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Ross Foundation, as well as Reopening Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills. ⁠

“Visitors to the new National Portrait Gallery will experience a complete redisplay of the Collection, a transformational refurbishment of the building, as well as an enhanced welcome and greater access through our new entrance.”

Only ~six months to go now; it’s officially time to get excited to stare at portraits of Shakespeare again. You can sign up to the National Portrait Gallery newsletter to get hear first about their 2023/24 exhibition programme.
Read more about the opening here