The National Portrait Gallery has announced a summer celebration of portraiture in anticipation of its reopening on 22 June 2023.
Titled Portrait Mode, this celebration will see the Gallery collaborate with over 80 organisations to highlight the incredible range of portraits on display in collections, galleries and spaces across London and the wider UK. Showcasing great artists – past and present – and inspiring people to get creative by sharing their own portraits, Portrait Mode will run from 1 June with a series of events until the end of July 2023.
In this large-scale collaborative project, Portrait Mode will encourage participants to embrace the art of portraiture this summer. Venues will foreground portraits in displays and exhibitions, social media, talks and tours, workshops, competitions and many more activities to celebrate portraiture and the return of the National Portrait Gallery. From the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham to The Beaney in Canterbury, Portrait Mode will be activated in national, regional and commercial galleries across the country, large and small. Activities at participating venues will include an exhibition of masterpieces from Chatsworth House at Sotheby’s and SELFHOOD: A selling exhibition exploring being and becoming at Christie’s, five centuries of four-legged friends at The Wallace Collection’s Portraits of Dogs, fashion photography in Ashish: Fall in Love and Be More Tender at the William Morris Gallery and a major exhibition at The Box in Plymouth, marking the 300th anniversary of the birth of Sir Joshua Reynolds. The celebrations will continue digitally to include social media campaigns from the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery, highlighting the museum’s portrait of Sir David Attenborough by Bryan Organ, and Cornwall Museums Partnership, who will explore and celebrate Cornish portraiture across time.
In addition to this activity, Portrait Mode will also include the exciting new celebration of International Portrait Day on 23 June. Participating Portrait Mode venues will post portraits from their own collections across their social media channels, alongside organisations from around the world, who together will encourage the public to share their own portraits using #PortraitMode and #InternationalPortraitDay, creating a virtual portrait gallery.
“We are delighted to be working in an unprecedented collaboration with so many organisations nationally and internationally to all switch into Portrait Mode this summer, and are so grateful for the support of our colleagues as we all come together to celebrate portraiture and the Gallery’s reopening on 22 June.”