From the March 2024 issue of Apollo. Preview and subscribe here.

The National Gallery, one of the most renowned art museums in the world, has been undergoing construction work on its Sainsbury Wing entrance for the past year. This ongoing project has resulted in the limited visibility of the museum’s early Italian paintings. However, art enthusiasts need not despair, as a reduced selection of these paintings is currently on display in the basement exhibition space. In addition to this temporary solution, the museum has a grand plan in store for art lovers – the reopening of the luminous neo-Tuscan permanent galleries designed by Venturi and Scott Brown.

The current situation, with the reduced visibility of the National Gallery’s early Italian paintings, has raised concerns among art enthusiasts. The construction work on the Sainsbury Wing entrance, albeit necessary, has had a noticeable impact on the display of these valuable artworks. However, the museum’s decision to showcase a selection of these paintings in the basement exhibition space demonstrates their commitment to providing visitors with access to this important art collection.

Looking to the future, the reopening of the neo-Tuscan permanent galleries is an exciting development. The design by Venturi and Scott Brown promises a luminous and visually stunning space for the display of the National Gallery’s early Italian paintings. This architectural masterpiece is expected to create a unique and immersive experience for museum visitors and bring the art to life in a whole new way.

With the reopening of the permanent galleries, a potential future trend for the art industry could be the emphasis on innovative and immersive exhibition spaces. Museums are increasingly seeking ways to engage and captivate visitors, and the use of cutting-edge architecture and design can significantly contribute to this goal. The National Gallery’s venture into neo-Tuscan permanent galleries sets a precedent for other institutions to explore similar initiatives.

In addition to architectural trends, advancements in technology also have the potential to shape the future of the art industry. The integration of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences within museum spaces could revolutionize the way art is experienced. Imagine being able to step into a painting and explore its details up close, or to virtually visit galleries across the globe without leaving your home. These technologies have the capability to enhance accessibility and provide a new level of engagement with art.

However, in the pursuit of innovation, it is important for museums to strike a balance between technology and traditional art experiences. While immersive spaces and technological advancements can enhance visitor engagement, it is crucial not to overshadow the art itself. The core purpose of a museum is to preserve, display, and promote art, and this should always remain at the forefront of any developments or trends within the industry.

In conclusion, the National Gallery’s ongoing construction work and the future reopening of the neo-Tuscan permanent galleries offer a glimpse into the potential future trends for the art industry. The combination of innovative architectural design and advancements in technology have the power to transform the way art is displayed and experienced. As museums continue to strive for new ways to engage visitors, it is important to maintain a balance between embracing technological advancements while ensuring that the focus remains on the art itself. The future of the art industry looks bright, with endless possibilities for immersive and captivating experiences for both art enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.


1. National Gallery. (n.d.). Retrieved from
2. Apollo Magazine. (n.d.). Retrieved from