Course overview

Go behind the scenes of the Government Art Collection, a less well-known national art collection, with Chantal Condron, a former curator at the Collection. Discover the fascinating origins of its history, and the people and events that have shaped its past. Explore how and why artworks are acquired or commissioned and discover some of the locations where they have been displayed. We explore works across a range of media from paintings to film, by artists from the 16th to the 21st centuries, including Marcus Gheerhaerts the Younger, Thomas Phillips, Bridget Riley, Michael Armitage and recent Turner Prize winner, Jesse Darling

Course description

What is the Government Art Collection? What kind of art does it hold? Who decides which artworks are collected and where they are shown? How can art represent ideas of national identity in Britain and abroad? How is the Collection funded? Discover the answers to these questions and more on this revealing introduction to one of the UK’s less well-known national collections, led by Chantal Condron, a former curator at the Collection. On this course we examine the function of this unique collection, discovering how and why artworks have been collected to represent Britain both nationally and in diplomatic locations around the world. Discover the origins of the Collection and how its contribution to cultural diplomacy has developed since it began in 1899. Each week we focus on a specific aspect of the Collection, looking in-depth at how selected works of art from the 16th century to the present day have contributed to the role and purpose of the Collection. Through class discussions, activities, and a range of varied resources, we will explore topics including art as a form of cultural diplomacy or ‘soft power’; site-specific commissioned artworks in locations in the UK and abroad; and recent collaborative art projects.

What financial support is available?

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All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

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