Government Art Collection

A photo of a series of canvases on a trolley
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The Government Art Collection is a unique British cultural resource, which operates within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Works of art from the Collection are displayed in British Government buildings both in the United Kingdom and around the world, playing a significant role in promoting British art and culture across diverse and international environments. Over 14,000 works – over two-thirds of the Collection – are now listed on our website. Whenever possible, we lend works of art to public exhibitions, both in the UK and abroad.

Venue Type:

Gallery, Museum

Opening hours

The GAC is primarily a working collection and does not have a designated exhibition space open to the public. However, we do offer group evening tours and lunchtime tours of our premises. We participate in the annual London Open House and Museums at Night events, during which visitors can see some of the works returned for conservation or awaiting selection. Group tours are for established groups (maximum of 20 people each) and must be pre-booked. Academics or museum professionals who wish to research particular works should contact us in advance to find out about the availability of the works and possible viewing arrangements.

Admission charges

See website

Additional info

Group tours are for established groups (maximum of 20 people each) and must be pre-booked. Visitor lunchtime tours are also available to book in advance - please see the 'Visit Us' page on our website

Dating from 1898, the Government Art Collection now holds approximately 12,000 works of art by British artists in a variety of media, including paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, textiles and video works, from the sixteenth century to the present day.

Items from this collection

Collection details

Film and Media, Fine Art, Photography, World Cultures

Key artists and exhibits

  • Artists represented in the Collection include John Constable, William Hogarth, Lucian Freud, Paul Nash, Barbara Hepworth, Michael Landy, Bridget Riley and Emma Kay.
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
BBC Civilisations Festival

'Inspired by Civilisations': Exploring the Government Art Collection

  • 6 March 2018 5:30-6:30pm
  • 9 March 2018 12:30-1:30pm

As part of the Civilisations Festival, The Government Art Collection is delighted to organize two free events.

Join research curator Dr Laura Popoviciu on 6 March at 5:30 pm for a presentation, titled ‘Encounters’, about cultural exchanges through art. Drawing on examples from the Government Art Collection, you will undertake an artistic journey and discover how India, China, Egypt and Japan have influenced the work of British artists.

For our lunchtime tour on 9 March, we will be exploring ways in which humour has shaped British culture from the 18th century to the present day. This story will be revealed through a curator-led tour of An Eyeful of Wry, a special display of works of art in the Government Art Collection.

Tours are free but advanced booking is required. There is a maximum of 24 people per tour. Each event lasts approximately 1 hour.

Our premises are not fully accessible to visitors with disability or mobility issues, however we aim to do our best to accommodate visitors wherever possible. Please contact us in advance of a visit at if you have any access requirements and we will be happy to advise.

Suitable for

  • 18+




Government Art Collection
Queens Yard, 179a Tottenham Court Road
Greater London


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020 7211 2425


020 7211 2429

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.