Catalogue entry

N04553 THE OPENING OF THE MODERN FOREIGN AND SARGENT GALLERIES AT THE TATE, 1926 c. 1926–9
 
Inscr. ‘J. Lavery’ b.l. and on back of relining canvas ‘Opening of the Duveen Galleries by the King and Queen, Millbank, by John Lavery’.
Canvas (relined; the original paint continues on to the relining canvas), 33 3/4×46 (86×116·5) plus 1/8× 1/4 (0·5×1) of relining canvas; this includes a strip 1 3/4 (4·5) high at the bottom bearing the names of those shown in the picture.
Presented by Lord Duveen 1930.
Exh: R.A., 1929 (224), as ‘The Royal Opening of the Duveen Galleries, Millbank, 1927’.
Repr: Royal Academy Illustrated, 1929, p.18.

The Modern Foreign and Sargent Galleries were opened by King George V on 26 June 1926; the ceremony was held in the Turner Gallery, No.VI, which had itself been presented by Sir Joseph Duveen, sen., and opened in 1910. The new galleries were built with funds given by his son, Sir Joseph, later Lord Duveen, at whose request Lavery was given special facilities to paint this work.

King George V and Queen Mary are shown seated on the dais; Lord D'Abernon, then Chairman of the Trustees of the Tate Gallery, stands before them. Duveen is shown standing on the extreme left, his hand resting on his wife's chair. Samuel Courtauld, whose important gifts to the Modern Foreign Collection were also celebrated on this occasion, is seated second from the right. Charles Aitken, then Director, stands on the extreme right with his successor J. B. Manson at his side.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I