Government Art Collection On View At Whitechapel

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Prime Minister’s wife Samantha Cameron, Lord Mandelson and the British Ambassador to Moscow are among the high profile figures to select work for the first ever public exhibition of the Government Art Collection, opening at the Whitechapel Gallery on 3rd June 2011.
Highlights from the Collection will be shown in a series of five successive displays, marking the first time the collection has been shown in a public gallery in its 113 year history. It is part of the Whitechapel Gallery’s ongoing programme of opening up collections that are rarely seen by the public in the UK and will be free to attend.
The diverse nature of the Collection and its role promoting British culture on the world stage is the subject of a total of five displays at the Whitechapel Gallery.
The first display from 3 June – 4 September 2011 is chosen by high profile political figures that have a close connection with the works.
The seven selectors 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.
Key works include Lancashire Fair: Good Friday, Daisy Nook, a masterpiece by the famous Northern English artist L.S. Lowry, selected by Samantha Cameron;  Peas are the New Beans by Bob and Roberta Smith, a humorous comment on accountancy selected by Lord Boateng; and Queen Elizabeth I, an enticing historical portrait by an unknown artist, selected by Lord Mandelson.
Staff who carry out a wide range of roles at Downing Street will be involved in the selection of works for a further display. Their close proximity to the art on show at the heart of Government will provide a unique perspective. 
The Collection has more than 13,500 works dating from the 16th century to the present day, shown in over 400 embassies and government buildings worldwide.

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