Decision details

OD-17-29 Loan of Gainsborough painting to the Princeton University Art Museum, USA

Decision Maker: Officer Decision

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


This decision relates to a loan request from the following:


Princeton University Art Museum, USA (via the National Portrait Gallery, London) (LO.2018.1)


This painting is described as ‘a miniature’ as it measures only 76 by 114 mm. It is currently in store.


The Princeton University Art Museum has an international reputation for mounting international loan exhibitions as well as meeting national museum standards for facilities and security procedures.


This venue is the second for the exhibition ‘Gainsborough’s Family Album’ and Ipswich Borough Council has previously agreed to the painting being shown at the first – the National Portrait Gallery, London – from 22 November 2018 – 3 February 2019. It is worth adding that the NPG have agreed to lend Ipswich the portrait of Cardinal Wolsey for the forthcoming exhibition ‘Thomas Wolsey; Ipswich’s Greatest Son’.


We have requested that the National Portrait Gallery pay for the painting to be re-framed and cleaned before it goes on loan to the NPG. Depending on the circumstances nearer the time, this work will be displayed in Christchurch Mansion before or after it goes out on loan.


This would be an unaccompanied loan to Princeton in view of the distance involved and consequently the amount of time that a member of the CIMS staff would need to be away from Ipswich. Instead it has been proposed and agreed with the National Portrait Gallery that they will provide and cover the costs of an accredited conservator to courier, install, de-install and return courier. Specific requirements to be discussed and detailed in the loan agreement.


The following to be loaned:


Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), ‘Margaret Gainsborough, the Artist's Wife’, late 1770s, oil on paper laid down on panel (R.1955-126)


Loan commences: 23 February 2019

Loan ends: 5 June 2019


To enable the Ipswich collections to contribute to an international exhibition and to continue the Museum Service’s partnership working with a network of cultural organisations.

Publication date: 05/10/2017

Date of decision: 08/09/2017

Accompanying Documents: