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Monday 20 November 2017

Museum displays Government artworks

More than 160 of the finest artworks usually displayed in UK official buildings around the world have gone on display at the Ulster Museum
More than 160 of the finest artworks usually displayed in UK official buildings around the world have gone on display at the Ulster Museum

More than 160 of the finest artworks usually displayed in UK official buildings around the world have gone on display at the Ulster Museum.

The Government Art Collection (GAC) exhibition features personal choices from politicians and ambassadors, giving insight into the role played by art in cultural diplomacy.

Staff from 10 Downing Street selected art they encountered in their daily working lives.

Pieces from the showcase, Revealed, span five centuries of creativity by artists such as Walter Sickert, LS Lowry, Andy Warhol, Tracey Emin and Turner Prize winner Martin Creed.

Subjects vary from Romantic poet Lord Byron to The Beatles.

Penny Johnson, director of the GAC, said: "This exhibition will offer visitors to Ulster Museum the chance to see the extraordinary breadth of works of art that normally hang in UK embassies, high commissions and other official residences and buildings around the world.

"I'm particularly pleased that we've been able to bring all these engaging works, dating from the 16th century to the present day, together under one roof here in Belfast."

Selections by artist Cornelia Parker and historian Simon Schama provide their own perspective on the collection. Another section focuses on government-commissioned works that include a recent multimedia installation from the artist Mel Brimfield.

Highlights include a 16th century portrait of Queen Elizabeth I and Reflection by Bridget Riley, displayed at the British Embassy in Cairo and more recently at 10 Downing Street. Mr Schama selected works of art that explore ideas of travel. His choice includes the famous portrait of the traveller Lord Byron by Thomas Phillips and Edward Lear's painting View of Beirut.

Choices by Number 10 staff included the 1836 portrait of Lord Byron's daughter and scientist, Ada Lovelace, by Margaret Carpenter, and videos by the artistic duo Wood and Harrison.

Press Association

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