Collecting for the Future

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

New works also recognise and encourage new perspectives on Britain’s imperial legacy and its historical colonial entanglements abroad.

This national collection has shifted from its original ‘decorative’ purpose in the 19th century to one with a more tangible, carefully curated approach. Today, our priorities lie in acknowledging and re-addressing the experiences of those artists, and the subjects represented in their work, that were previously absent in the Collection. New stories about British history and art continue to unfold. These are revealed through the eyes and voices of artists whose works allow the Collection to create compelling and stimulating displays, that engage audiences around the world.