A Working Collection
If the Government Art Collection was a person, its approach and way of working would be close to that of a diplomat or ambassador. Frequently on the move, working hard to make links between the UK and other countries, this collection of historic, modern and contemporary art, champions British art and culture. It is seen by hundreds of thousands of people at government locations across six continents.
Working around the world
The global flow of the Government Art Collection means that roughly two-thirds of its works are on show at any one time. Visitors engage with artworks at over 370 government buildings around the world, while the Collection frequently loans works for temporary exhibitions to museums and galleries in the UK and abroad. In the UK, works from the Collection have also been displayed in schools, libraries, shopping malls, sports venues and even a horse riding centre!
Find out why Bob and Roberta Smith's painting, 'Peas are the New Beans', raised a smile among the bean-counters at HM Treasury.
Between 2012 and 2016, the Collection worked with the British Ambassador to Japan on new displays of art for Tokyo. The former Ambassador reflects on the role that art played in diplomacy.
An old map of Romania and a fire-damaged print of London: Britain's Head of Soft Power, who also served as Ambassador to Romania, speaks with our historical curator about the links between art and diplomacy.
A new installation of art at the British Embassy in Tehran evokes the early days of the Embassy, and is a reminder of the longstanding relationship between Britain and Iran.