§ Mr. Frank Field
asked the Minister for the Arts if he will procure from each of the galleries for which he is responsible a list of those collections for which they are responsible, and which have not been shown to the public for (a) the last five years, (b) the last 10 years and (c) the last 20 years.
§ Mr. Luce
The collections in the galleries for which I am responsible are normally composed of individual items rather than discrete sub-collections. Information is not held in the form requested, but the galleries have provided the following information:
National GalleryAll paintings are on display
Tate GalleryBecause of contraints on space, only a proportion of the collection can be shown at one time. About 25 per cent. of the collection of British historic painting and sculpture is on display, a similar proportion of modern foreign art and about 12 per cent. of the large number of modern British works. Items from the collection are rotated between public display and the reserve collection. All items can be seen by arrangement. The opening of the Clore extension in April 1987 and the Tate in the north in the summer of 1988 will increase the proportion of works on display at any given time.
National Portrait GalleryBetween 20 and 25 per cent. of the collection is on display at any one time. Again, items are rotated between public display and the reserve and all items can be seen by arrangement.
Wallace CollectionAll items are on public display.
National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside
- (a) Walker Art Gallery. About 30 per cent. of the collection is on display at any one time. Displays are rotated and all items can be seen by arrangement. About half of the collection has not been on public display in the last ten years.
- (b) Sudley Art Gallery. 90 per cent. is on display.
- (c) Lady Lever Art Gallery. 80 per cent. is on display.
All museums and galleries are aware of the need to improve public access to their collections and I encourage them to do all they can within available resources.