Government Art Collection

Ever wondered where all the art we own is stored? Had a great opportunity to have a tour of the Government Art Collection last week with a terrific trio -you know who you are!

It is a fascinating place to go to -hidden down a yard off the Tottenham Court Road. We were shown round by the fab Clive who tested our historical and social knowledge to give us a background into how the collection started and how it has expanded over the years.

Clive told us that around 70% of the collection is out in Embassies across the world and in other civic buildings. Given my new found pash on Richard Nevinson, I couldn’t wait to ask if any of his work was in the archive. Part of me wanted the answer to be no, as it would mean that it is on display somewhere but I was really hoping to see something I know I wouldn’t usually get the chance to see. Having travelled to Southport to see a newly discovered painting, ‘Limehouse 1913’, I had my fingers crossed and was not disappointed. They have ‘La Vieux Port, also from 1913 there, along with Tiller Girls:
http://www.gac.culture.gov.uk/work.aspx?obj=16732

It was a wonderful piece, and I think I like it just a little bit more than ‘The Arrival’ which I always go to visit in the Tate. Nevinson knew this area of Marseilles well, and he was there on August 4th, 1914 when he heard that war had been declared.

http://www.europeana1914-1918.eu/en/europeana/record/2022326/98E5511573835BE483B39D25D3E8217456221B67

There are monthly tours that require prebooking, and I can completely recommend visiting.

http://www.gac.culture.gov.uk/about.html

A quirky little number

Most of the art I have come to love usually consist of melancholy, brooding landscapes that calm your inner turmoil but just occasionally, a bit of colour pops up to make a real impact.

I was watching a set of films about the influence of the Riveria on art and came across Leopold Survage. This little cubist painting just made me smile: Survage - LandscapeI positively adored the little man with the bowler hat and was struck by the sheer beauty of colour used within this.  His 1912 abstracts are at MOMA in New York and this website has all the details you need to know about this Russian-born artist.

http://www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?artist_id=5735