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During the Second World War, the funding and provision of art for government buildings and embassies was paused. A small number of works were lost, damaged or destroyed as a result of the hostilities. One exception was Battlefields of Britain by Christopher R. W. Nevinson.
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.
Spoliation of works of art during the Holocaust and World War II period
Ever wondered what having a role in Collection is all about. Discover more about a typical day with a member of our Collections team.
Our Digital Media & Photography Manager, Tony Harris, takes us behind-the-scenes for the careful process of photographing Lucy Skaer’s Me VIII (2012), as part of his job doing the photo-documentation of the Collection.
There are so many ways to discover this unusual collection.
The Government Art Collection dates back to 1899 when a few portraits and landscapes were bought as an economical way of sprucing up tired-looking government rooms in Whitehall.
Adapting and reflecting the world around it, the ambition of the Collection is to continue to challenge and acknowledge its historical roots. New acquisitions are considered by subject, theme or an artist’s personal experience, all of which resonate with different aspects of contemporary British society
In response to constantly changing technologies and the ways in which people engage with art and visual culture, we are thrilled to unveil our new website.
A new installation of art at the British Embassy in Tehran reminds visitors of the early days of the Embassy, and the longstanding relationship between Britain and Iran.
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 social background of ministers and ambassadors, rising up the ranks of Britains diplomatic workforce began to change after the First World War. Fewer appointees had access to personal art collections this led to a lack of art in Britain's embassy buildings overseas, which became increasingly acknowledged.
What's involved in being a GAC historical curator? Dr Laura-Maria Popoviciu takes us on a journey through time and space.
Dr Claire FitzGerald, Curator (Modern & Contemporary) tells us about her love for uncovering the stories hidden within the Government Art Collection
Works from the Collection are regularly on the move. Find out what’s needed to make this happen and the job mission of the art works themselves
Images of British monarchs and famous figures, it was felt, brought a sense of stature to entrance halls and state rooms. The presence of works like these in embassies, started to raise an awareness of the powerful cultural diplomatic role that art could play.
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.
Among the many aspects involved in being Deputy Director and Senior Curator at the Government Art Collection, Eliza Gluckman shares insight into one of her projects: curating the contemporary display in Paris
Find out more about Ways of Seeing, our exciting collaboration this year with Waltham Forest, the first London Borough of Culture.
James Pryde’s painting, 'The Monument', features in 'James Pryde at Dunecht', at Daniel Katz Gallery, London from 5 October – 20 December 2019
Paintings by Jessica Dismorr and Winifred Nicholson on loan to the exhibition, 'Radical Women: Jessica Dismorr and her Contemporaries' at the Pallant House Gallery
The mood of post-war Britain was reflected in some of the new works in the collection displayed in the 1950s and 1960s at 10 Downing Street.
Our combined annual report and acquisition lists are published in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
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.
A glimpse of Europe in the 19th century, through a selection of works from the Collection, installed in the British Embassy, Paris.