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In Conversation: Victorian Celebrities: G F Watts’s Hall of Fame

19th October 2017

Thursday 19 October
7 - 9.30pm
National Portrait Gallery

A panel including Watts Gallery Trustee and former Deputy Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Richard Ormond, and writer A N Wilson will discuss Watts's unmatched contribution to Victorian portraiture. The panel will be chaired by chaired by Alison Smith, curator of Victorian art at Tate Britain.

This event will be held in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, where Watts's most significant portraits are displayed and several of which feature in our England's Michelangelo exhibition.

Book online at or by calling 02073 060055.

A N Wilson was born in Staffordshire in 1950 and is best known as a biographer, novelist, journalist and essayist. Wilson was educated at Rugby School and New College, Oxford. He published his first novel, The Sweets of Pimlico in 1977. He has since published over 40 works of fiction and non-fiction.He is a regular voice on BBC radio, and an occasional columnist for the Daily Mail, Telegraph, London Evening Standard, Financial Times, the Times Literary Supplement, New Statesman, The Spectator and The Observer.

Richard Ormond is former Deputy Director of the National Portrait Gallery and former Director of the National Maritime Museum (1986-2000). He is the co-author (with Elaine Kilmurray) of the Complete Paintings of his great-uncle, John Singer Sargent and was the curator of the 2015 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends. Richard will be standing down as Chairman of the Watts Gallery Board of Trustees at the end of 2017, after thirty years in post.

Alison Smith is the Lead Curator, British Art to 1900 at Tate. She has delivered a number of exhibition and display projects at Tate Britain including Exposed: The Victorian Nude (2001), Turner, Whistler, Monet (2005), Millais (2007) and Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde (2012). As Co-Chair of the monitoring group for acquisitions of pre-1900 British art she has overseen the acquisition of a number of works for the British collection.