THE director of the National Gallery of Australia, Ron Radford, will not seek reappointment when his contract expires in September this year.
While this probability has been widely discussed in art circles and corroborated in the Gallery’s annual report, the conjecture surrounding Radford’s future was confirmed at the elite NGA Foundation Dinner on Saturday, where those present were told that the director planned to retire.
Radford came from the top job at the South Australian Art Gallery to become director of the flagship art institution in 2005, making him the Gallery’s longest serving director. He succeeded Brian Kennedy, Betty Churcher and James Mollison in the job.
A “convert” to Canberra, during his long reign he has overseen the dramatic building program that resulted in a new entry point for the Gallery and the construction of a dedicated wing for Aboriginal art. His forward planning for the Gallery will see a further stage of building to include special Australian Art Galleries and research facilities.
A spokesman for the National Gallery of Australia told “CityNews” today that there was nothing new in what was announced at Saturday’s dinner, as his decision had been made some time ago.
Nonetheless, the confirmation that Radford will not seek a further term comes in the wake of mounting concern regarding the provenance and means of acquisition of the priceless “Dancing Shiva” temple artefact acquired by the Gallery at a cost of $5 million from jailed former art dealer, Subash Kapoor.
The ABC television program “Four Corners” is investigating affair, which has also seen the NGA sue Kapoor.