Stories that inspire: history category

Fascinating stories await in the collection for you to discover and explore

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The Coronation works in the Collection

As part of the celebrations surrounding the coronation, over a hundred works of art were commissioned or purchased by the Ministry of Works from early 1953 to 1954. Explore these works in the Government Art Collection, from artists like L.S. Lowry, Julian Trevelyan and Barbara Horridge.

A Closer Look: L.S. Lowry’s Coronation View

When L.S. Lowry was appointed an official artist at the Coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953, he could not imagine why he was appointed to capture such a grand occasion.

A Closer Look: A Masters’ Secret for 10 Guineas

In 1796, leading artists from the Royal Academy of Arts fell victim to an incredible hoax, masterminded by Ann Jemima Provis and her father, Thomas Provis.

A Closer Look: Charity Children in the Strand on 7 July 1713

Curator Laura Popoviciu takes a closer look at George Vertue's 18th-century print that celebrates the Peace of Utrecht.

Lucian Freud’s Welsh Landscape

In 2008, Lucian Freud came to the headquarters of the Government Art Collection to revisit his work Welsh Landscape, painted between 1939 and 1940.

Body, Mind and Soul: the Making of Lord Byron

On the bicentennial of Greece’s 1821 Revolution and War of Independence, discover Lord Byron through a new lens. Understand the power of his image and his influence through six related works of art and letters from the Government Art Collection and Newstead Abbey.

A Meeting of Cultures

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.

Coming Home

The British Ambassador's Residence in Budapest, built in 1925, was originally home to Hanna Hódosi and her husband Tibor Scitovszky. Find out why this became significant for the Collection.

The Art of 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.