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Gallery’s cheery email just wrong today

By Charlotte Harper - 13 October 2015 11

Portrait Gallery email
I’m a bit disappointed in the National Portrait Gallery this morning, having received an email from them with the subject “Gardens and other reasons to celebrate” with second story being about an event there in ten days time called “Oh happy day”.
It arrived less than 24 hours after we learnt of the death of their founding director, the visionary Andrew Sayers, and should have been rescheduled and rewritten accordingly.
A newsletter from the Gallery containing their official statement on the passing of the man who ran their institution for 11 years would be much more appropriate today.
I’m a huge fan of the Portrait Gallery and sympathise with the staff involved in sending the newsletter. They are no doubt as distraught as anyone who worked with or was acquainted with Sayers and perhaps not thinking as clearly as they could be as a result.
But sending a message with such a celebratory tone was just plain wrong today and ran the risk of upsetting friends and family members of the man who made the gallery the national institution it is today.

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
Gallery’s cheery email just wrong today
John Moulis 8:03 am 17 Oct 15

This is ridiculous. It’s a bit like saying that Channel Nine shouldn’t have kept broadcasting after Kerry Packer died. As they say, the show must go on…

HenryBG 11:01 am 16 Oct 15

Charlotte Harper said :

if I were a friend or family member of his and this were the first email I’d received since his death from the gallery he’d founded and run for nearly a fifth of his life it would have upset me.

So you weren’t upset, and judging by the absence of complaints from any “friend or family member” it would seem they weren’t upset either. So nobody’s upset and we’re all happy.

rubaiyat 10:39 am 16 Oct 15

As an aside. I highly recommend the wonderful Ink Remix exhibition currently running in The Canberra Art Gallery, and DO NOT MISS Julie Manley’s Fashion & Fantasy doll exhibition at the back.

I am just constantly amazed at the wealth of talent and what it turns its attention to!

rubaiyat 10:20 am 16 Oct 15

Junglejack said :

No Charlotte, you’re wrong, Andrew would be pleased to see his efforts being used, promoted and celebrated.

Boy do I hate this “sounds like” political correctness and “Look-at-me being empathetic”.

This story was not even worth a Twitter post.

Junglejack 7:21 pm 15 Oct 15

No Charlotte, you’re wrong, Andrew would be pleased to see his efforts being used, promoted and celebrated.

rubaiyat 8:58 am 14 Oct 15

I doubt that Andrew Sayers would want the Portrait Gallery do anything but continue on with running the most exciting and attractive exhibitions. That was after all his life’s work.

The way to celebrate his life will be to get the public in as a celebration of his success, setting aside an exhibition just for him. If anyone deserves to be featured front and centre in the object of their own creation, Andrew should be the one.

Charlotte Harper 5:16 am 14 Oct 15

I agree, it’s hard to find the right time when they have that event booked for ten days off and clearly have an obligation to promote it. If they’d sent their subscribers an email newsletter containing their official statement about Sayers death first, and chosen a different subject line for this email and rewritten some of the copy to be less celebratory it would’ve been fine to send it after a couple of days. But not the day after the news of their founder’s death with this tagline and this content. Of course I don’t think Sayers is looking down but I know that if I were a friend or family member of his and this were the first email I’d received since his death from the gallery he’d founded and run for nearly a fifth of his life it would have upset me.

creative_canberran 9:39 pm 13 Oct 15

And when does it become right? 24hrs later, 48, 72? Pick a number, any arbitrary number. Do you think Mr Sayers is looking down annoyed that everyone isn’t moping around in their funeral best? Just bizarre.

Mysteryman 12:13 pm 13 Oct 15

Charlotte, I say this with all due respect… Get over it.

TuggLife 11:22 am 13 Oct 15

People are so easily offended these days. It was clearly a scheduled email, prepared ahead of time, to promote future events. It obviously wasn’t done with any malice or ill intent and it’s existence in no way detracts from news of Sayers’ death.

Masquara 10:11 am 13 Oct 15

The Australian ran articles side by side today, one of which had “Penny Sterling” and one “Perry Sterling” as his wife (widow). Does anyone know which name is correct for sure?

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