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The funding and provision of art for government buildings and embassies paused during the Second World War. 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.
Spoliation of works of art during the Holocaust and World War II period
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.
There are so many ways to discover this unusual collection.
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.
The Government Art Collection dates back to 1899 when a small number of portraits and landscapes were bought for government offices as an economical way of sprucing up tired-looking 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.
This series presented by Dr Laura-Maria Popoviciu, marks a new installation of works of art from the Government Art Collection at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Tehran.
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 lack of art in embassy buildings was increasingly acknowledged after the First World War, during a period when the background of new ministers and ambassadors rising up through the ranks of Britain’s diplomatic workforce slowly started to change.
Dr Claire FitzGerald, Curator (Modern & Contemporary) tells us about her love for uncovering the stories hidden within the Government Art Collection
Images of British monarchs and famous figures brought a sense of stature to entrance halls and state rooms. The presence of works like these in embassies, started to raise 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 GAC 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 on site.
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
James Pryde’s painting, 'The Monument', features in 'James Pryde at Dunecht', at Daniel Katz Gallery, London from 5 October – 20 December 2019
Works from the Collection are regularly on the move. Find out about what’s needed to make this happen and the job mission of the art works themselves
Find out more about Ways of Seeing, our exciting collaboration this year with Waltham Forest, the first London Borough of Culture.
After the War, several new works entering the Collection were displayed at 10 Downing Street, reflecting the mood of post-war Britain
Why the Government has an art collection, what it collects and why the Collection is spread across the world.
Our combined annual report and acquisition lists are published in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
GAC historical curator, Dr Laura Popoviciu interviews Paul Brummell, Head of Soft Power and External Affairs at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Paintings by Jessica Dismorr and Winifred Nicholson on loan to the exhibition, 'Radical Women: Jessica Dismorr and her Contemporaries' at the Pallant House Gallery
In 1925, a Hungarian nobleman of Polish origins, named Tibor Scitovszky de Nagyker, and his wife Hanna, built and occupied an elegant villa in neo-baroque style in the hills of Buda in Hungary.
In this blog, Dr Laura Popoviciu gives an insight into the history of the British Embassy in Paris during the 19th century through a selection of historical works of art on loan to the embassy from the Government Art Collection.