09 Mar – 10 June 2012
Glimpse behind the scenes of 10 Downing Street as staff choose their favourite works from the Government Art Collection.
For thousands of years works of art have been used in politics and diplomacy to present an image of the state. Today the art on view in the official residence of the British Prime Minister tells a powerful story about British culture to its many UK and international visitors. But what do its staff think? This display gives the chance for everyone to be a curator, as 10 Downing Street staff including custodians, personal assistants and IT managers present their choice of the great paintings and sculptures they work round every day.
The works of art, many being shown for the first time in a public gallery, date from the 18th century to the present day. Highlights include the 1836 portrait of Lord Byron’s daughter Ada Lovelace, by Margaret Carpenter and the kitchen sink View from a Window, Dartmouth Row, Blackheath, (c.1954–6) by John Bratby, plus videos using humour to animate Minimalist art by the artistic duo Wood & Harrison.
This exhibition is part of the Whitechapel Gallery’s ongoing series of displays from the Government Art Collection.
The Whitechapel Gallery’s programme of collection displays is supported by Hiscox