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Black History Month

1 October - 31 October 2021



For Black History Month we have invited the next generation of creatives, thinkers and cultural leaders to reflect on the sitters in our Collection. We'll be sharing new content here throughout October.

Black History Walks

In this first video, they take us to Kings College London and Central YMCA to share with us the history and work of Harold Moody, who we hold a bust of in our Collection. Born in Jamaica, Moody came to England in 1904 to study medicine at Kings College. The racism he experienced meant he couldn't find a job as a physician with any existing practice, leaving him with no option but to set up his own practice.

In this second video, Black History Walks took us to the Museum of London Docklands and Canary Wharf Pier to share with us the history of the portrait The Secret of England's Greatness by Thomas Barker. This portrait shows Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle presenting an ambassador from East Africa with the Bible in what is likely to have been imagined scene that may have been based on an actual encounter, though it is not known for certain.

We visit Museum of London Docklands and Canary Wharf Pier in this video to unpack the colonial origins of the painting, with both of these areas of London being associated with trade during the Victorian period. The painting itself epitomises the Victorian concept of the British Empire.

Virtual Tour

Alayo Akinkugbe, art historian and founder of @ablackhistoryofart, explores key figures from the Gallery’s Collection.

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View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.

Sit back and watch

Artist and sitter interviews

Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.

Explore behind the scenes

Sleeping Awake

Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.

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