After a three-year closure, the National Portrait Gallery will reopen on 22 June 2023.
The world-famous art gallery — home to portraits of figures from Shakespeare to Stormzy — closed its doors in June 2020 for a major renovation project, including the construction of a new entrance to increase capacity.
Initially, spring 2023 was given as a reopening date, and in a period when Covid has had a delaying effect on so many building projects, it's impressive this one has stayed so true to its planned schedule.
Known as the Inspiring People project, changes we'll see when the National Portrait Gallery reopens include:
- That new entrance, including a new forecourt and pedestrian bridge, on the building's north façade — a controversial location because it goes against the wishes of a Victorian donor that the entrance be as far away from the 'seedy' streets of Soho as possible;
- A complete top-to-bottom re-hang of the works in the gallery's collection. Don't expect your old favourites to necessarily be in the same space;
- The reopening of the East Wing, previously used as office space, to the public. It'll be known as the Weston Wing, to acknowledge support by the Garfield Weston Foundation;
- A new and improved Learning Centre for school groups and families.
Keep an eye on the National Portrait Gallery website for further details of the reopening, including exhibitions to be announced in due course.