Daily Update: Gallery directors quietly decline their bonuses

Following on from Ronan McDonald’s blog on Network Rail Directors ‘donating’ their bonuses to charity, this week our thoughts turn to the arts sector as ‘bonusgate’ continues. As reported in the London Evening Standard, we understand that National Gallery director Nicholas Penny, Tate chief Sir Nicholas Serota and National Portrait Gallery head Sandy Nairne have all declined their bonus packages.

The news has emerged following a review of bonuses in the public sector by Conservative MP Priti Patel. She told the London Evening Standard: “It is a welcome step forward that we are seeing museums and the creative industries leading the way, but there is scope for many others to follow suit.”

At Cause4 we would now like to learn more. What were the Director’s motives? Whilst Ronan praised Network Rail Directors for reinvesting their bonuses to the safety improvement fund for level crossings, he also pointed out that their philanthropic gesture may be perceived as nothing more than a ‘public penance designed to deflect criticism from the media.’ So what is the story in the arts sector?

Cause4 of course believes that decisions regarding bonuses are at the Director’s discretion. However, if bonuses are to be invested charitably we would like to see some innovative approaches. Perhaps creating collaborative projects with smaller charities, to whom £8,000 is a substantial sum?

Let us know your thoughts.

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