Government Art Collection to go on public display
3rd December 2010
The works held in the Government Art Collection are to go on display to the public for the first time from June next year.
Five free exhibitions will be held over the summer of 2011 to showcase some of the 13,500-plus works that are held in the collection, with a number of political figures to select the pieces involved.
The first show will include works chosen by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, New Labour stalwart Peter Mandelson and culture minister Ed Vaizey.
Penny Johnson, director of the collection, told the Guardian: 'The Government Art Collection has been in existence since 1898, but this is the first time in its 113-year history that people will be able to walk in off the street to see it.'
The collection - which was bought using taxpayers' money and usually adorns the walls of British embassies, consulates and ministerial buildings - includes works from artists such as John Constable, L.S. Lowry, William Hogarth and Lucian Freud.
Speaking to Sky News, art critic Dr Richard Cork praised the variety of works found in the Government Art Collection, noting that it includes pieces by historically important artists as well as younger talent.