at home: Paul Mellon Lectures
Established in 1994, this lecture series was named in honor of Paul Mellon (Yale College Class of 1929), the philanthropist, art collector, and founder of both the Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) in New Haven and the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art Studies (PMC) in London. Coorganized by the two institutions, the biennial lectures were traditionally delivered in person by a specialist in British art at the both the National Gallery in London and the Yale Center for British Art.
This year’s series, entitled The Museum and Gallery Today, is exclusively online and features individual talks from some of the world’s most distinguished museum and gallery directors. The lectures are presented as free live webinars.
About this program
In 2024, the National Gallery in London will be two hundred years old. Founded by Parliament in the slipstream of Enlightenment ideas about the social and educational benefits of public museums, it has become over time a treasure house of European painting as well as a London landmark; a magnet for international tourism as well as a center for high-level research in the material sciences. It hosts exhibitions visited by tens of thousands of people, seeks to explore remote corners of the art historical landscape, and is the only national museum of historic painting in the United Kingdom that has a practicing artist’s studio in the building as well as an attached digital laboratory. Central to its purpose is the sharing of the collections and expertise for the benefit of the public. As the National Gallery approaches its Bicentenary, Gabriele Finaldi will discuss why this mission matters and identify the challenges the Gallery faces on the threshold of the third century of its existence.
About Gabriele Finaldi
Gabriele Finaldi has been Director of the National Gallery since August 2015. He was previously Deputy Director for Collections and Research at the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, a position he took up in 2002. Prior to his role at the Prado, he was a curator at the National Gallery between 1992 and 2002, where he was responsible for the later Italian paintings in the collection (Caravaggio to Canaletto) and the Spanish collection (Bermejo to Goya). Finaldi studied art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art, where he completed his doctorate in 1995 on Jusepe de Ribera, the seventeenth-century Spanish painter who worked in Italy. He has curated exhibitions in Britain, Spain, Italy, Belgium, and the US. He has written catalogues and scholarly articles on Velázquez and Zurbarán, Italian Baroque painting, and religious iconography.