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Trustees Appointed to the National Portrait Gallery

The Prime Minister has appointed Marcus Harling, Professor Shearer West and Jonathan Yeo as Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery for a term of four years commencing on 1 November 2018.

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Marcus Harling

Marcus Harling is an experienced lawyer who specialises in the procurement and construction of capital projects and real estate development. A Partner in the independent law firm Burges Salmon LLP, Marcus advises public and private sector bodies on a wide spectrum of strategic development, regeneration and transport infrastructure projects throughout London and beyond.

Recently, Marcus has advised The Crown Estate on the construction of Central London development schemes, The Greater London Authority on the Royal Albert Dock regeneration project and AEG/Crosstree Real Estate Partners on the construction of the Icon retail scheme at The O2.

Marcus has a particular interest in the interface between art and architecture and in the challenge of aligning the construction and development sector with the opportunities that the digital world presents. A member of the Steering Group of industry body Constructing Excellence and an advisor to the RIBA, Marcus has also worked across a wide range of cultural and heritage projects.

Professor Shearer West

Shearer West is President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, having held previous academic and leadership positions at the Universities of Leicester, Birmingham, Oxford and Sheffield, as well as having been Director of Research at the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

She has held two visiting Fellowships at Yale University. She has published nine authored and edited books on eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century European art, including The Image of the Actor, Italian Culture in Northern Europe in the Eighteenth Century, and Portraiture.

She has had extensive international experience as a consultant and advisor, including as a jurist on the Spinoza Awards (Netherlands), chairing the national research evaluation exercise for humanities in Norway and advising the Australian Research Council on the introduction of impact into their research assessment exercise.

West has held a number of Board positions, including Chair of the Association of Art Historians (now the Association for Art History), Visitor at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, member of the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art Advisory Council, and member of the Independent Schools’ Governing Body for the Foundation of the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham.

Jonathan Yeo

Jonathan Yeo (b. London 1970) is one of the world’s leading portrait artists and has exhibited widely in both the UK and abroad. His sitters include such diverse figures as Sir David Attenborough, Malala Yousafzai, Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry, Idris Elba, Nicole Kidman, Baroness Lawrence, Tony Blair and The Duke of Edinburgh. Known for both traditional and experimental portraiture, he was the subject of a mid-career survey at the National Portrait Gallery in 2013 and has had further retrospectives at the Lowry in Greater Manchester (2014), the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle (2014-15) and the Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle in Denmark (2016).

Yeo has been working with a number of technology companies to explore new ways of making portraits and has been helping Google develop 3D drawing software for virtual reality. Earlier this year, Yeo exhibited a new series of works at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, including the first bronze sculpture to be made using an innovative combination of processes, in particular 3D scanning, virtual reality and 3D printing. Other recent projects include collaborations with the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC and The Bowes Museum in County Durham. Last month he was named Artist of the Year at GQ Magazine’s “Men of the Year” awards.

This appointment has been made in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments. The appointments process is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Under the Code, any significant political activity undertaken by an appointee in the last five years must be declared. This is defined as including holding office, public speaking, making a recordable donation, or candidature for election. Marcus, Shearer and Jonathan have declared no such political activity.

Published 12 November 2018