The National Portrait Gallery has become the latest institution to end their partnership with BP.
BP has sponsored the National Portrait Gallery’s annual portrait of the year award since 1989, but confirmed in a joint statement that they wouldn’t be renewing the partnership.
Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Nicholas Cullinan, said: “The Gallery is hugely grateful to BP for its long-term support of the BP Portrait Award.
“Its funding for the Award has fostered creativity, encouraged portrait painting for over 30 years and given a platform to artists from around the world, as well as providing inspiration and enjoyment for audiences across the UK.
“The Gallery is committed to working with artists and continuing to promote portraiture and we look forward to developing the future Portrait Award as we plan for our reopening in 2023.”
Other arts institutions such as Tate and The Royal Shakespeare company have already severed ties with BP, following environmental campaigns launched by artists and employees.
Co-director of campaign group Culture Unstained, Jess Worth, said the announcement is “clearly a vote of no confidence in BP’s business”.
“The company spent 30 years painting a picture of itself as a responsible philanthropist but it is rapidly running out of places to clean up its toxic image,” she said.
The announcement comes weeks after BP said they were planning to “accelerate the greening” of the company, committing to spending more on the transition to green energy.
Louise Kingham, a senior vice-president of BP, said: “We are immensely proud of our role in championing British arts and culture for over 30 years, but the BP of today is a very different company from when we first started our partnership with the National Portrait Gallery.
“As we transition to become net zero by 2050 and help the world get there too, we must look at new ways to best use our talent, experience, and resources.”