Cherished North East artworks go on display at 10 Downing Street

Nine North East artworks have been mounted in the Prime Minister's residence.
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A collection of North East artworks have gone on display in Number 10 Downing Street.

Nine pieces from the Laing Art Gallery collection have been mounted onto the walls of the corridor leading down to the Cabinet Room.

Geordie artwork has gone on display in the Downing Street corridor.Geordie artwork has gone on display in the Downing Street corridor.
Geordie artwork has gone on display in the Downing Street corridor.
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The chosen works from the Laing Art Gallery, situated in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, are representative of the city and the wider North East of England. 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.

Florence Ward, Quartz Inset (c. 1965)Florence Ward, Quartz Inset (c. 1965)
Florence Ward, Quartz Inset (c. 1965)

Paintings in the display include a large oil painting by Edward Dickey, depicting the iconic Tyne Bridge mid-construction, and Caravans, Figures and Helter Skelter, a work from 1930 by Byron Dawson that shows a scene from the long-running travelling fair The Hoppings, which sets up on the Town Moor annually. There are also several mid-20th-century works by figures associated with the region’s progressive art schools such as graduates of King’s College (now Newcastle University).

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Victor Pasmore, Girl with Mirror (c.1942–5)Victor Pasmore, Girl with Mirror (c.1942–5)
Victor Pasmore, Girl with Mirror (c.1942–5)

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, Arts and Heritage Minister, 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. 

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“I’m delighted that visitors over the next year will get to learn more about the proud culture and rich heritage of Tyneside 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, which fills my Geordie heart with pride.”

Edward Dickey, The Building of the Tyne Bridge (1928)Edward Dickey, The Building of the Tyne Bridge (1928)
Edward Dickey, The Building of the Tyne Bridge (1928)

The display showcases 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 corridor for a year, as part of the Government Art Collection’s ‘Number 10 Museum in Residence’ project. 

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 delighted that our wonderful pictures will be seen by a range of people, from the UK and around the world, as they pass through the doors of Number 10.”