Throughout the partnership, which spans more than 30 years, bp’s support of the Gallery’s Portrait Award, one of the longest running cultural events in London, has enabled more than six million visitors to enjoy free admission to the exhibition and contributed to the career development of more than 1,500 portrait artists, from aspiring young painters to established professionals.
The announcement by bp and the National Portrait Gallery comes as bp reviews its partnerships and initiatives to ensure activity is aligned to its new strategy.
Louise Kingham CBE, Senior Vice President, Europe & Head of Country, UK at bp, said: “We are immensely proud of our role in championing British arts and culture for over 30 years, but the bp of today is a very different company from when we first started our partnership with the National Portrait Gallery. As we transition to become net-zero by 2050 and help the world get there too, we must look at new ways to best use our talent, experience, and resources.
“What the National Portrait Gallery continues to provide and showcase for the public is outstanding and we couldn’t be more honoured to have helped support them. We have enjoyed a close partnership throughout and wish them every success for the future.”
Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, said: “The Gallery is hugely grateful to bp for its long-term support of the BP Portrait Award. Its funding for the Award has fostered creativity, encouraged portrait painting for over 30 years and given a platform to artists from around the world, as well as providing inspiration and enjoyment for audiences across the UK.
The Gallery is committed to working with artists and continuing to promote portraiture and we look forward to developing the future Portrait Award as we plan for our reopening in 2023.”
bp’s current sponsorship of the BP Portrait Award ends in 2022. The BP Portrait Award is not being staged in 2021 and 2022 while the National Portrait Gallery’s building in St Martin’s Place is closed for redevelopment. bp is generously honouring the sponsorship contract and the remaining funds.
National Portrait Gallery
Poppy Andrews, Senior Communications Manager
+44 (0)7535 667948
bp press office
London: +44(0)7831 095541, +44(0)7919 217511