Arts Council Collection

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Harold Gilman, The Model, 1911, Arts Council Collection, on loan to Ferens Art Gallery, Hull

The Arts Council Collection is the largest loan collection of modern and contemporary British art in the world. With presently over 7500 works of art spanning more than seventy years, the Collection can be seen in exhibitions and displays at home and abroad, as well as through long-term loans to public buildings across the UK.

The Collection, which was formed in 1946, includes works by major British artists of the twentieth century and continues to acquire innovative and significant work by emerging artists today. It maintains a policy of adventurous and timely acquisitions, responding rapidly to developments in artistic practice. The collection is managed by a Curator while purchases are advised by a panel of artists and experts whose membership lasts for two years.

The Arts Council Collection is managed by the Hayward Gallery, South Bank Centre on behalf of Arts Council England and is based at the Hayward Gallery in London and at Longside, Yorkshire Sculpture Park. As a collection ‘without walls’, it has no permanent gallery; however, changing displays of sculpture, video and installations from the Arts Council Collection are regularly on view at Longside Gallery. Survey exhibitions from the Collection have been held at the Hayward Gallery entitled 'British Art 1940-80' and 'How to Improve the World: 60 Years of British Art'.

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