News story

Government Art Collection exhibition

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

First of five public displays opens at London’s Whitechapel Gallery.

Full details of the first public exhibition of the Government Art Collection ever to be held in a public gallery are unveiled today.

This is the first exhibition dedicated to the collection held in a public gallery in its 113 year history.

The Government Art Collection showcases British art in Government buildings including Downing Street, the Home Office and British Embassies and Residences in nearly every capital city across the world.

Sequence of displays

  • 3 June - 4 September 2011: Government Art Collection: At Work. This Display was selected by seven public, political and diplomatic figures who have worked alongside art from the Collection in various roles, ranging from British High Commissioner to South Africa to Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service
  • 16 September - 4 December 2011: Cornelia Parker presents her personal take on the Collection
  • 16 December 2011 - 26 February 2012: Simon Schama makes a selection highlighting the role of the Collection in cultural diplomacy
  • 9 March - 5 June 2012: 10 Downing Street staff choose their favourite works
  • 21 June - 2 September 2012: During the Cultural Olympiad, this display focuses on the Collection’s commissioning role, and will feature a new commissioned work of art

Government Art Collection: At Work

For the first display, a selection of prominent public and political figures have chosen works with which they have a close connection. They are: Lord Boateng, former Government Minister and British High Commissioner to South Africa; the Prime Minister’s wife Samantha Cameron; Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg; Lord Mandelson, former Business Secretary; Dame Anne Pringle, British Ambassador to Moscow; Sir John Sawers, Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service; and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey.

The Government Art Collection showcases British art in Government buildings including Downing Street, the Home Office and British Embassies and Residences in nearly every capital city across the world.

Further information