Rufus Leonard to canvass gallery with view to update its identity

Rufus Leonard is to review the National Portrait Gallery’s identity over the next four months, as the London museum looks to repaint its image following extensive refurbishment.

Last month, the opening of the Regency era Weldon Galleries – designed by Piers Gough of CZWG Architects – drew a line under ten years of renewal and revamping of NPG’s interiors (DW 8 May).

The aim now is to create a brand identity that reflects these changes and consolidates the gains the museum has made in increasing visitor numbers and broadening its demographic appeal.

According to Rufus Leonard director of strategy Andrew Pinkess, NPG director Sandy Nairne – who will have been in the job for about a year when the consultancy presents its findings in the autumn – is eager to respond to the growing competitiveness of the London gallery scene.

Another concern is that the redevelopments of Trafalgar Square and St Martins Lane do not ‘pass the gallery by’. ‘A new identity is not a given, but there’s enough from our initial thinking to suggest it should be refreshed,’ says Pinkess. ‘How radical that is depends on the rest of the research.’

The consultancy won the NPG project following an eight-way pitch last month.

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