Although art collections in the United Kingdom cannot compare to that of the Louvre and comparable museums, the country does boast several art collections that are well worth looking into.
At the National Portrait Gallery in London, which was founded in 1856, there are portraits of outstanding people in England and it was the first museum in the world to focus on such types of painting. Artists include Van Dyck, Rubens and Holbein who created works of British monarchs and others during their lifetimes.
The Leeds City Gallery during its 120 years of existence has collections of English artists and sculptors, all of which are masterpieces. The life of the well-known sculpture, Henry Moore, is closely associated with Leeds and so his works are essential to the heritage of the art gallery.
One of the oldest museums in the United Kingdom, located in Oxford is the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology. It boasts four departments which consist of numismatics, antiques, oriental art and Western European paintings. Visitors to the museum can view masterpieces by famous artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Raphael and Michelangelo.
The Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery here www.birmingham.gov.uk/bmag has a collection of over 500,000 objects that dates back 200,000 years and comes from each continent around the world. It has one of the finest collections in the world of Pre-Raphaelite art and fine and applied art as well as exhibits related to archaeology and ethnography. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has designated the museum’s collections as outstanding as they have international, national, regional and local importance too.
The National Museum in Cardiff has a collection of art that is one of the finest in Europe. It boasts magnificent paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics and silver from Wales and around the world from the past 500 years and has one of the best collections of Impressionist art in Europe. The Welsh national collection documents the history of art in Wales since the sixteenth century. It’s is well worth a look at.
The University College of London Art Museum came about as an association with the college’s Slade School of Fine Art. Therefore, its collections present a unique side of art education with works going back to the 1890s. It has early works by pioneering female artists such as Dora Carrington,Anna Maria Pacheco, Winifred Knights and Diana Cumming. Other works related to the history of the teaching of art in Britain include Turner’s annotated landscape prints,Van Dyck’s portraits of people of influence in his Iconographia and drawings by Henry Tonks, John Flaxman and William Coldstreamthat were used for instructional purposes.
The Victoria Museum and Gallery at the University of Liverpool also has some distinctive exhibits. There is the largest collection of original artwork of John James Audubon, the 19th century American wildlife artist, outside of the United States; a collection of Chinese and British ceramics; modern sculpture by Sir Jacob Epstein and Dame Elisabeth Frink; and silverware from the Sydney Jones collection. The museum proudly supports contemporary artists, particularly those that come from the local area.
The UK certainly has some fantastic art collections for art lovers around the globe to flock to and view. With the many new talented artists that are up and coming, the future of art museums in the UK only looks better!