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Herbert Smith Freehills becomes headline sponsor for National Portrait Gallery’s flagship portrait award 

Herbert Smith Freehills has today announced its sponsorship of the National Portrait Gallery’s flagship portrait award, as it re-launches a longstanding painting competition designed to profile artists representing the very best in contemporary portraiture.

The inaugural year of the firm’s sponsorship builds on 20 years’ support. It follows Herbert Smith Freehills undertaking the role of re-opening sponsor as the National Portrait Gallery opened its doors after completing a three-year renovation programme.

As a result of the firm’s sponsorship, the National Portrait Gallery is inviting entries from artists aged 18 and over for what has become one of the UK’s most highly regarded platforms for aspiring artists. Entrants to the Herbert Smith Freehills Portrait Award will see their portraits form part of an exhibition that has been seen by more than six million people since its inception 45 years ago. 

Artists submitting their work for the Herbert Smith Freehills Portrait Award will be able to upload entries via competitions.npg.org.uk. By doing so they will add to more than 40,000 entries from over 100 countries since the competition began in 1978.

“Art has long been recognised for its power to connect and its ability to reflect insights from diverse perspectives. That means embracing differences and benefiting from the unique angles that others can bring to an individual’s worldview. It’s an approach which matches the values we hold close and so we’re delighted to continue – and enhance – our relationship with the National Portrait Gallery through our sponsorship of the Herbert Smith Freehills Portrait Award” said Justin D’Agostino, Chief Executive Officer at Herbert Smith Freehills.

Entries of painted portraits to the Herbert Smith Freehills Portrait Award are welcome from artists aged eighteen and over until Tuesday 16 January 2024. Shortlisted works will form part of the Herbert Smith Freehills Portrait Award exhibition and be displayed at the National Portrait Gallery from 11 July to 27 October 2024.

“Our prestigious painting competition and associated exhibition have always held a special place at the National Portrait Gallery, so I am delighted to see their return, thanks to the generous support of new headline sponsor, Herbert Smith Freehills. The new Herbert Smith Freehills Portrait Award will continue to showcase the best in contemporary portrait painting and provide opportunities for a new generation of talented portraitists. I look forward to seeing the shortlisted works on the walls of our newly renovated galleries,” adds Dr Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery.

Matt Baldwin
Matt Baldwin
Co-founder – Coast Communications

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