Gabrielie Finaldi: ‘What is the National Gallery if you can’t visit and you can’t see the pictures?’ (The Art Newspaper)

The Art Newspaper: Gabrielie Finaldi: ‘What is the National Gallery if you can’t visit and you can’t see the pictures?’. “I pondered the question, what is the National Gallery if you can’t visit and you can’t see the pictures? Even during the Second World War, when the paintings were hidden for safekeeping in the bowels of the earth in Wales, the doors opened for weekday lunchtime concerts organised by the pianist Myra Hess at the behest of the director, Kenneth Clark, and not a day was missed. The gallery was perceived as a beacon for the common cultural values of society, and Clark recalled of the first concert that as the first notes of Beethoven’s Appassionata struck up: ‘It was an assurance that all our sufferings were not in vain.'”

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