Nine artworks from the Laing Art Gallery collection in Newcastle have gone on display in 10 Downing Street’s corridor leading from the famous black door through to the Cabinet Room
Downing Street corridor will showcase the talent of artists from the North East to world leaders and industry bosses as well as high-profile guests, philanthropists, front-line workers, and charitable and civic leaders attending events in the building.
The artworks will remain in the Downing Street corridor for a year. It’s a part of the Government Art Collection’s ‘Number 10 Museum in Residence’ project.
For the past twenty years, the Government Art Collection has instigated an annual partnership with a museum or gallery across the UK to display artworks from their collection. Previous galleries include the Glynn Vivian in Swansea, The Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester and The New Art Gallery in Walsall.
The nine chosen works from the Laing Art Gallery are representative of the North East. Five of the paintings showcase Newcastle’s cityscape, while the others point to the diverse art scene of the North East. All of the works are by influential artists from the area, who taught at its art schools. Or who have been inspired by its landmarks and landscapes.
Paintings in the display include a large oil painting by Edward Dickey, depicting the iconic Tyne Bridge mid-construction. Caravans, Figures and Helter Skelter, a work from 1930 by Byron Dawson. It shows a scene from the long-running travelling fair The Hoppings, which sets up on the Town Moor annually. There are also several mid-20-century works by figures associated with the region’s progressive art schools. Such as graduates of King’s College (now Newcastle University).
Arts and Heritage Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said:
“The Museum in Residence scheme helps to ensure that visitors to 10 Downing Street get a glimpse of the brilliant range of artistic talent the UK has to offer.
“I’m delighted that visitors over the next year will get to learn more about the culture and heritage of Tyneside. All thanks to this partnership with the Laing Art Gallery. The first thing they’ll see after walking through that famous front door is a huge portrait of the Tyne Bridge. This fills my Geordie heart with pride.”
Julie Milne, Chief Curator of Art Galleries at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, said:
“We have enjoyed working with the Government Art Collection team in selecting paintings from the Laing Art Gallery. It has enabled us to see the works from a fresh perspective. To hone and highlight narratives about the North East. We are happy to know that people from the UK and around the world will see our wonderful pictures as they pass through the doors of Number 10.”
The lending gallery selects works based on their exclusion from the gallery’s program during the display period.