National Gallery membership launched

September 25 2014

Video: National Gallery

The National Gallery in London has launched a new Membership scheme. Regular readers may remember that I first revealed this back in April 2014. The above feel-good video doesn't tell you what you get for your £50, but the 'exclusive benefits' promised are these:

Free exhibition entry Enjoy free, unlimited entry to all exhibitions

Exclusive events Experience the Gallery away from the crowds through our exciting programme of Members' events, including private views of exhibitions and talks with curators and experts

Special offers Take advantage of a range of discounts and offers available for Members in the Gallery shops, cafés and Dining Rooms

Members' website Browse your online Membership magazine featuring exclusive interviews, films and articles, and find out about forthcoming events and offers

Members' e-news Stay up to date with all that’s happening at the Gallery, along with the latest offers and events direct to your inbox.

Some news reports have said membership will allow you to 'beat the queues'. This isn't really the case, and you still have to get a timed ticket. You do though get a free bag. You can join here

The National Gallery has also released details of its forthcoming exhibitions, which include:

Inventing Impressionism 4 March – 31 May 2015
Soundscapes: Listening to Paintings 8 July – 6 September 2015
Goya: The Portraits 7 October 2015 – 10 January 2016

I'll say it now; Goya is probably the most over-rated portraitist in the history of western art.

Update - a reader writes:

Whilst I am pleased that the NG now has a membership group, I am sorry that, like a numbe of other institutions, it has failed to institute a category of life membership. For the many people who are worried about the widely documented unreliability of Direct Debit, and the tiresomeness of annual renewal, this is surely the best option to support such an institution. Most others of comparable stature are willing to accept a lump sum to cover life membership; the fact that the NG is not suggest that they are not entirely serious about the whole enterprise.

Update II - another reader writes:

Oh, the ghost of Robert Hughes is going to come and haunt you for that dismissive opinion !!

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