Museum In Residence at Number 10: The Herbert

Every year, for two decades, the Government Art Collection has worked with a museum or gallery collection from outside London to showcase artworks that celebrate a unique element of their collection in 10 Downing Street. The Herbert in Coventry has been chosen for this year’s display to link with Coventry's tenure as UK City of Culture.

Hanging Coventry by Jane Sutton in 10 Downing Street. Picture by Tim Hammond / No 10 Downing Street

The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum has loaned ten artworks to be displayed in 10 Downing Street, through the Government Art Collection. The works belong to the Museum’s British Life and Landscapes Collection that started in the late 1950s by its first Art Director, John Hewitt.

The collection was formed to reflect the lives of people in Coventry and the landscape of modern Britain. Due to the large exhibition programme currently taking place at the Herbert, these works were not currently on display to the public – so the 10 Downing Street display enables some of the best works from the Collection to be on display outside of Coventry and encountered by new audiences over the next year.

Displaying artworks from the Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry. Picture by Tim Hammond / No 10 Downing Street

The first display at 10 Downing Street features works by Mary Adshead, Dorothy Annan, Simon Barry, Jane Sutton, Nancy Upshall and Coventry Cathedral’s architect, Basil Spence, all of whom have a Coventry connection. The works depict the industry, architecture and people of Coventry and Warwickshire.

The second display features works that show spaces of industry and leisure. A beach scene by Margaret Green is populated by a group of day-trippers from a mining village dressed in their Sunday best, whilst Steelworkers is a striking example by the Official War Artist Roland Pitchforth, creating a stark contrast to a  sumptuous rural scene by Paul Nash from the period between the Wars.

Displayed in two entrance areas of 10 Downing Street from 4 October 2021 for a year, the works will be seen by staff and visitors to Number 10.

Steelworkers, Roland Vivian Pitchforth, 1940. Oil Painting. Image courtesy of Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry

Bus Trip from the Pits (Seaton Carew), Margaret Green, 1956. Oil Painting. Image courtesy of Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry