James White the Director of the National Gallery of Ireland talks about his position in the art world and the role of the National Gallery.

James White sees his role as an administrative business post which can be applied to running any institution. Further, he defines how he sees his role as Director of the National Gallery.

I see my role as mainly an individual who draws the attention of the Irish people to the great masterpieces of painting for the last six centuries which we conserve.

James White believes that art is for everyone and says that he has failed in his job unless he can interest the people enough that they want to know, understand and be affected by the pictures. These paintings continue to be important to the world because people see, understand and feel them. 

The business and financial side of art takes place in a world where the only people that can afford to buy the great masters are the very rich or institutions.  Buying and selling modern works of art is seen by White as a separate world. 

The reasons for collecting them are slightly different.

This episode of 'Personal View' was broadcast on 27 July 1972.