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Guildhall Art Gallery re-hang

​The re-hang introduces new themes and artworks to the Gallery's Victorian displays

​See the City of London’s art collection in a new light 

To coincide with its 15th anniversary, Guildhall Art Gallery experienced a complete radical rehang for the first time since the current building opened in 1999.

400 years of art in 10 thematic displays

Many of the works have never been on show before. In the Victorian display alone, 70% of works represent a completely new curatorial selection; through imaginative use of space, the overall number of paintings on show has been doubled.

The rehang of our Victorian works demonstrates how the approach to fine art fundamentally changed in the 19th century. Artists turned their attention to the reality of modern life as their main inspiration, departing from the long-standing tradition of history painting. With its focus on everyday subjects such as the home, work, leisure, love, beauty, faith, and imagination, the new Victorian re-hang offers surprising relevance to life in the 21st century and challenges pre-conceptions about Victorian art being ‘dated’. The paintings highlight phenomena that form an integral part of life today, which many people would not think originated in Victorian times. For example, the concept of leisure time, outdoor recreation such as sports and public parks, affordable home decoration, mainstream fashion, or office work.

Practical improvements help to shine a new light

The £600,000 renovation improves art display and the visitor experience thanks to:

  • A new state-of-the-art LED lighting system illuminates the artworks and helps create a more flexible display space
  • New museum interpretation offers more information and a better understanding of the displays
  • Improved orientational signage helps you find you way around.
  • A new backdrop to the art. 'Aesthetic Movement' green - inspired by the avant-garde Grosvenor Gallery - is the new wall colour, which enhances the period feel of the space and the visual impact of individual artworks.

Historic collection, but forward-looking

The rehang also includes displays on the City (Square Mile), London’s history, and the landscapes of Sir Matthew Smith, bringing together a combination of contemporary and historic works.

22 January 2015
Last Modified:
27 August 2019