By the 1930s, diplomats and officials became accustomed to working alongside historical artworks from the Collection and it was clear that art in embassies had an impact on how these buildings were experienced by visitors.
Historical, often imposing, portraits of monarchs and distinguished figures brought an atmosphere of prestige and a sense of history to diplomatic spaces. Art had moved beyond being just ‘decoration’. The functional presence of art in embassies became increasingly recognised by diplomatic staff, who began to send memos to the Foreign Office, urgently requesting more art.
In 1935, the Treasury authorised an annual fund of £250 to buy art for British diplomatic posts abroad. An Overseas Picture Committee made up of the Directors of the National, Tate and National Portrait Galleries, was set up to guide the acquisition of new works.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.