Why the Government has an art collection, what it collects and why the Collection is spread across the world.
Discover stories from the Collection
Take a journey around the world with the GAC and learn more about the contexts in which our works are displayed
Find out why art can be useful in international diplomacy, and the Collection’s role in strengthening Britain’s soft power
Peas Are The New Beans by Bob and Roberta Smith, a 1993 painting, raised a smile at HM Treasury
Tim Hitchens was Britain’s Ambassador to Japan from 2012–2016 and during that time, the Collection worked with him to curate new displays of art for the Embassy and Residence in Tokyo. In this interview from 2015, he reflects on the role that art played in diplomacy, on his watch.
An old map of Romania and a fire-damaged print of London: Britain's Head of Soft Power, recently Ambassador to Romania speaks with our Bucharest-born curator about art and cultural diplomacy.
“The GAC display at the Residence ties together our efforts of portraying a modern, sustainable and innovative Britain, whilst linking to key historical events and individuals. The artwork is often commented on positively by visitors.”
Dame Barbara Woodward, HMA Beijing
Looking after over 14000 works of art, our staff bring expertise, passion and pragmatism to their roles. Discover what happens behind the scenes at the GAC.
Art is one way of remembering Britain’s long-standing historical relationships with other nations. As Britain shifted away from conflict to renegotiate its relationships with others in the postwar era, soft power and cultural diplomacy became increasingly important national and political expressions.