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tions as to
It would seem then to result from this part of our en. Summary
of suggesquiry, that the following may be enumerated among the important points of improvement which remain to be National
Gallery. effected in the constitution and management of our National Gallery of pictures:
1, An additional infusion of professional know
ledge of Art into its directing board, of
course, under due restriction;
what shall be progressively aimed at in
the formation of the gallery;
with inclusion of a fixed sum to be an-
under special circumstances;
made, for the general information of the
possessed, into schools, at the earliest pos-
• The catalogue just issued (June, 1838,) is excessively meagre and superficial; devoid alike of arrangement, and of the information most wanted by the public. It disposes, on the average, of nearly four pictures - be they what they may-upon a 12mo page, and has no index either of schools, painters, or donors. There is a small but very admirable catalogue of the provincial gallery of Rouen, by M. Garneray, its distinguished conservateur, to which I would solicit the notice of the trustees. It offers an instructive contrast to that of the National Gallery of England. Its title is as follows: Catalogue des Objets d'Art exposés au Musée de Rouen, 3me Edit. Aug. mentée de Notices sur les Vies et les Ouvrages des principaux Maitres de chaque Ecole, ainsi que sur les personnages célèbres dont les portraits figurent dans la Collection, 1837. Mr. Landseer has recently complained (in
6, Provision of an adequate building for the
display of a collection, worthy of the British nation; or, if the obstacles to a new erection be found insuperable, means to be taken for the enlargement and improvement of the present.*
OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM.
The Committee of Enquiry into the condition and tions of a me committee management of the British Museum, reported the folof House lowing resolutions (on the motion of Lord Stanley) to mons. the House of Commons, in July, 1836: '
Necessity “1. That the great accessions which have been made of late to of increas
8- the collections of the British Museum, and the increasing interest ed establisbment. taken in them by the public, render it expedient to revise the
establishment of the institution, with a view to place it upon a scale more commensurate with, and better adapted to the present state and future prospects of the Museum.
Trust: Family trustees.
1. RESPECTING TRUSTEES. “2. That this committee do not recommend any interference with the family trustees, who hold their offices under Acts of Parliament, being of the nature of national compacts.
“3. That, although the number of official trustees may appear unnecessarily large, and though practically most of them rarely, if
tbe Examiner Newspaper,) that the trustees have refused his petition, that their porter might be allowed to sell his “ Descriptive Catalogue” to visitors applying for it, alleging that they cannot patronise opinions.
* In the evidence of Mr. Solly, Mr. Rennie, and others, before the committee of 1836, complaints were made respecting serious injury to the “ Lazarus,” and other pictures, from insects. I have not noticed this, because the evidence respecting the extent of the injury is not clear, and I cannot doubt that remedial means have been employed. I am writing too far from London to obtain any personal information on the subject.
ever, attend, yet no inconvenience has been alleged to have arisen from the number; and the committee are aware that there may be some advantage in retaining in the hands of the government a certain influence over the affairs of the Museum, which may be exercised on special occasions; yet, if any act of the legislature should ultimately be found necessary, a reduction in the number of this class of trustees might not be unadvisable.
“4. That, with regard to the existing elected trustees, the com- Elected mittee think it very desirable that the trustees should take steps to tru ascertain whether some of those whose attendance has been the most unfrequent, might not be willing to resign their trusteeships. That, in future, it be understood that any trustee hereafter to be elected, not giving personal attendance at the Museum for a period to be fixed, is expected to resign his trusteeship, being, however, reeligible upon any future vacancy.
“5. That, in filling up vacancies, it would be desirable that the As to fillelecting trustees should not, in future, lose sight of the fact, that ing up
vacancies. an opportunity is thus afforded them of occasionally conferring a mark of distinction upon men of eminence in literature, science, and art.” A subcommittee* of the trustees having been ap- Proceed
* ings of the pointed to consider the various recommendations of the tres select committee of the Commons, the trustees report thereon. by their subsequent minutest that Lord St. Helens had resigned his office of elected trustee, and that Mr. Hallam had been elected in his room, and that they had “resolved :-that in future it be understood that any trustee hereafter to be elected, not giving personal attendance at any of the meetings of the trustees, for a period exceeding twelve months, is expected to resign his trusteeship, or to assign such reasons for his absence as may be satisfactory to a general meeting of the trustees.”
• Consisting of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and of the Bishop of London, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lords Stanley, Aberdeen, Cawdor, Farnborough, and Ashburton, and Sir R. H. Inglis.
† Laid before parliament, June 19, 1837, and printed in Sessional paper, No. 409.
Other vacancies, which have since occurred, have been filled up by the election of Lord Carlisle and Mr. W. R. Hamilton.
II. OF DEPARTMENTAL ORGANIZATION.
“6. That the extension of the collections which has taken place ments. and the still greater extension which may be looked for, render a
further division of departments necessary; and that at the head of each department there be placed a keeper, who shall be responsible for the arrangement, proper condition, and safe custody of the collection committed to his care."
The department of natural history has been accordingly divided into three-mineralogical, zoological, and botanical. And the print-room has been made inde
pendent of the department of antiquities. Board of “7. That it is desirable that the heads of departments shall meet officers.
once in every three months, for the purpose of consulting with reference to any matters of detail relating to the internal arrangements of the Museum, which they may desire jointly to submit to the trustees in writing.”
This seventh resolution (the most important of all, save that calling for increased parliamentary grants,) has not yet been carried into effect, but the trustees have stated that it will be taken into consideration “ when the new arrangements are more completely in operation.”
Such a board might do much to promote, as well the exertions of the officers in their respective departments, as that proper and systematic intercourse between trustees and officers, which is so eminently
desirable for the public interest. Officers,
“8. That whenever there may be a vacancy in the office of prin. their duties cipal librarian, or in that of secretary, it is desirable that the duties and sala
now discharged by those officers respectively, including the exries.
penditorship, be reconsidered, and that the office of secretary be not combined with the keepership of any department.”
“11. That it is expedient that the trustees should revise the salaries of the establishment, with the view of ascertaining what increase may be required for the purpose of carrying into effect the foregoing resolutions, as well as of obtaining the whole time and services of the ablest men, independently of any remuneratio from other sources; and that when such scale of salary shall have been fixed, it shall not be competent to any officer of the Museum paid thereunder to hold any other situation, conferring emoluments or entailing duties."
“14. That it be recommended to the trustees that every new accession to the Museum be forthwith registered in detail by the officer at the head of the department, in a book to be kept for that purpose; and that each head of a department do make an annual report to the trustees of the accessions within the year, vouched by the signature of the principal librarian; of desiderata; and of the state and condition of his own department."
Upon these, the trustees have resolved :
That “it is desirable to separate the management of Plurality of the pecuniary concerns of the Museum from those which offices. are purely literary and scientific, and to confine the attention of the ordinary officers of the Museum to their literary and scientific duties.”
“ That no officer or other person employed in the Museum, in future, hold any other office or employment without the permission of the trustees first obtained in writing. And that the following offices and employments be declared incompatible with any situation in the Museum: the place of librarian to any corporate body, or to any society or individual; any living, curacy, or assistant-curacy; any place in or under any commission, royal or parliamentary, where any salary or emoluments are attached to the duties performed; the office of director, treasurer, secretary, or any other place in any banking, insurance, dock, or any other trading company or association; any situation under her majesty, or in any public office, where the emoluments shall exceed £50 per annum.”
“ That the office of secretary be no longer held with