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A woman seen through a mirror looking around a domestic room with modern British art on the walls

Our art

Discover new perspectives on British art from 1900 to now

Using our collection and exhibitions, we tell the story of Modern British art

Since the late 19th century, Western society has changed dramatically. The development of our modern cities, technologies, not to mention the devastation of two world wars has transformed every aspect of our lives – including art.

From Post-Impressionism to Cubism, Neo-Romanticism to Pop and Neo-classicism to contemporary art, our collections and exhibitions tell the story of Britain through the eyes of some of the most important British artists, including Keith Vaughan, Edward Burra, Graham Sutherland and Barbara Hepworth.

Second only to the Tate for Modern British art.

The Guardian

A large wooden sculpture pierced with two holes stands above a stairwell painted with a brightly coloured geometric mural by Lothar Götz
Interior of a Georgian townhouse showing two open doors on the left and right side of the frame leading to rooms filled with Modern British art
Young Woman with sketchbook in the Gallery

40 Years in 40 Artworks

To celebrate our 40th anniversary in 2022, we have selected 40 highlights from our collection for you to explore online.  Find out about some of the painters, movements and mediums that make up our collection and tell the story of modern British art from 1900 to now.

Keep checking back as we add more works to this online exhibition.

Black and white geometric shapes
Tear shaped black marble sculpture with round hole through centre in gallery space
A painting by Ivon Hitchens showing abstract shapes of various colours, mostly blue tones around the edges, with yellows reds and browns towards the centre
Oil painting of estuary in brown and blues and greens
Abstract painting by Prunella Clough depicting a grey background with narrow streakes of green running horizontally across. In the upper left is a circle of green next to a circle of white on a grey rectangle.
Bookshelf sculpture
Naked woman sat on bed looking away to left
Face in profile of a man facing right on patterned red and gold background
Blue toned painting of a young man with dark curly hair completely absorbed in looking at his reflection in an unseen pool at the bottom of the painting.
Man to left looking out next to flower in a pot on right
Helmet and shoulders sculpture in bronze by Henry Moore
Boy staring out in red shirt, yellow tie and blazer
Black and White collage made of paper cut out victorian engravings. A river sits next to a tropical, mountainous landscape with a vicotrian lady rising out from the top.
Man in blue suit on yellow background surrounded by zigzag shapes
Reclining figure in studio, Frank Auerbach
Soft sculpture in white depicting a cowboy with hat and sunglasses leaning against a wall
Human figures in group
Head and shoulders of person with candelabra on head
Photograph of two men with their hands cuffed together, shielding their faces from the viewer. The photograph is encased in a metal frame made to look like the door of a car.
Wooden sculpture of man with rocket
Painting by Howard Hodgkin depicting geometric abstract, solid black outlines on inside edges. pink arc shapes top left & top right. red spots on yellow ground at centre; green dots on red around outside edge.
Man on left staring out wearing blue jacket and woman on right in black and white t-shirt facing right wall
Bronze bust of Christ with eyes closed
Woman staring out wearing a jewelled headband and a golden shawl over a black top
Rock in fireplace and line of rocks with white line on them in the foreground
A close up of dozens of mussel shells stuffed with red velvet.
Blue background with multiple butterflies in different colours and sizes
Top of a sculpture of a woman
Woman looking left with head on hands
Print of teeth
Person looking back left over should in blue top on yellow and blue background