Great British Art Debate

January 2008 – December 2012

A nationwide series of events and exhibitions, and an online space, to explore and debate ideas around Britishness and art.

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Great British Art Debate

  • What is British art?
  • What does ‘British’ mean to me?
  • Who owns all the paintings in our local galleries?
  • If I make art, am I a British artist? 

The Great British Art Debate asks all these questions and more. It’s not about giving you all the answers but asking you to share your opinions on British art and what it means to you.

There is also a nationwide series of events and exhibitions in the run up to the London 2012 Olympics, where we invite you to explore and debate ideas around Britishness and art. The debate is supported by a dedicated Great British Art Debate website.

Four galleries are working together to use historic British Art collections to explore questions about nationhood and identity today. Four exhibitions, WatercolourJohn MartinRestless Times and Family Matters, address different aspects of British artistic heritage and contemporary practice. The different artists, time periods and techniques in each exhibition will show different views on Britain and the British people.

In partnership with:
Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
Museums Sheffield
Supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and MLA Renaissance

Logos for the Heritage Lottery Fund
Logo from the Great British Art Debate

Project Information

Project type
Learning project
Digital project
National project
Lead department
Tate National
Support departments
Media and Audiences
Tate Learning

See also

  • Pocket Art Gallery app

    The Pocket Art Gallery app enables you to virtually curate your own gallery, positioning famous artworks from galleries across the …