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Public viewing for DG portraits (Read 2751 times)
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Public viewing for DG portraits
May 9th, 2006, 6:14am
This is taken from a BBC Press Release:

On Saturday 20 May 2006, the BBC will open up a part of its art collection to the public in a unique exhibition at the BBC's White City offices.

Portraits of ten BBC Director-Generals will be on display, from the first - Lord Reith - up to the most recently unveiled portrait of Greg Dyke by British artist John Keane.

Visitors will also be able to view Faces and Folklore: an unofficial history of the BBC, which draws together some of the quirkier and less known personalities and events from the BBC's past to mark the 80th anniversary year of the BBC's first Royal Charter.

Robin Reynolds, Head of BBC Heritage, said: "The BBC has a modest but attractive art collection and we are constantly looking for ways to open it up to the public.

"While we have lent parts of the collection to art galleries, this is a chance for the public to see the portraits in sequence and to understand the stories behind them."

Rory O'Connell, Manager of the BBC Heritage Collections, will give a short talk about the portraits and the accompanying exhibition throughout the day on 20 May.

The exhibition at the BBC's Media Centre in Wood Lane, London W12 is open for one day only - Saturday 20 May.

It is free of charge. Admission is on the hour from 11.00am with last admission at 3.00pm.

To book a place and to find out about other events during Museums and Galleries Month go to www.mgm.org.uk.

The portraits of the Director-Generals were traditionally hung in the Council Chamber at Broadcasting House, London W1 but were placed in storage during the refurbishment of that building.

The opening of the Media Centre with its modern well lit atria provided an opportunity to bring all the portraits together in one place, and a way to explain the succession and history of the BBC.

There have been 14 Director-Generals of the BBC from John Reith in 1922 to the current Director-General Mark Thompson.

Ten of them have had portraits commissioned and one, Sir William Haley, a bust by Jacob Epstein.

Three Director-Generals - Ogilvie, Foot and Graves - were overlooked due to the pre-occupation with the Second World War.

The most recent portrait of Greg Dyke was painted by artist John Keane and unveiled at the Media Centre on 2 May 2006.

Other BBC portraitists have included Ruskin Spear, June Mendoza, Richard Foster, Tai Shan Schierenberg.

The public will also be able to view the paintings during Open House on 16 and 17 September 2006 - further information at www.openhouselondon.org.

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