Art News

Rats, Murder and Secret Wartime Bunkers…National Portrait Gallery Archive Goes Online

LONDON.- The National Portrait Gallery has launched its archive catalogue on the web, revealing to a wider audience fascinating stories about the Gallery’s activities since it was founded in 1856. An Edwardian murder and suicide in the public galleries, an outbreak of rats and the extraordinary lengths directors went to in order to ensure the safety of the nation’s portraits during the First and Second World Wars are among the discoveries available at the click of a button. The launch of the online archive today is the culmination of a two-year project to catalogue previously unseen material. It comes a month after the Gallery’s award of £17,909 from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives to catalogue the papers of its first director Sir George Scharf (1820-1895).