Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : New Chair appointed to Advisory Committee on the Government Art Collection [September 2023]

The press release issued by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport on 4 September 2023.

The Permanent Secretary to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport has appointed Sir Richard Heaton as the new Chair of the Advisory Committee on the Government Art Collection for a term of four years commencing 3 September 2023.

The Government Art Collection is a unique cultural resource that promotes British art by placing works of art in UK Government buildings worldwide. Selected for ministerial offices in the UK and embassies and diplomatic residences abroad, two-thirds of the Collection are on display in almost every capital city across the world. Every year, this working Collection is seen by thousands of visitors, contributing to cultural diplomacy and showcasing British creativity, past and present.

Collected over the course of 125 years and containing more than 14,700 works of art spanning six centuries, the Government Art Collection continues to grow, representing the diversity of the UK. The Collection engages with a wider audience through loans, partnerships, digital platforms and a rolling public programme.

Sir Richard Heaton became Warden of Robinson College, the newest college at Cambridge, in 2021, after a career in the civil service. He was Permanent Secretary at the Cabinet Office from 2012 to 2015, and Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice from 2015 to 2020. Richard is also Chair of Trustees at Koestler Arts, which promotes art and creativity in prisons and places of detention or supervision. He has for many years been an enthusiastic collector of modern and contemporary art.

Outgoing Chair of the Advisory Committee to the Government Art Collection, Sir David Verey said: ‘I have enjoyed my ten years as Chair of the Advisory Committee enormously and I wish Richard Heaton every success in his tenure.’

Director of the Government Art Collection, Eliza Gluckman said: ‘I’d like to thank Sir David Verey for a decade of stewardship and support of the Government Art Collection. He supported myself and my predecessor Penny Johnson CBE through a period of enormous change for the Collection including our move to Old Admiralty Building and a change of Director. I am looking forward to working with Sir Richard Heaton as the Collection prepares to celebrate 125 years and looks to future initiatives’.

Sir Richard Heaton said: ‘I’ve admired the Government Art Collection for years. It brings art to the workplace and to the public, it supports practising artists, and it quietly speaks for the UK around the world. I am thrilled to be joining it as Chair of the Advisory Committee.’