Great British Art presents a spectrum of some of the most important artists active in the British art world from the mid-1700s through the 1950s. The exhibition comprises 86 works on paper by 51 artists, including John Constable, Thomas Gainsborough, Gwen John, Percy Wyndham Lewis, Walter Sickert, and J.M.W. Turner.
Interconnections, rivalries, and exchanges among many artists in this exhibition can be seen in the content, appearance, or production of their work as well as in their personal biographies and social milieu. In its scope and sweep, the exhibition offers a nearly comprehensive survey of the richness of British watercolors, prints, and drawings during this 200-year period.
The Bank of New York Mellon began building this collection in 1980, acknowledging the legacy of the Mellon family as significant art collectors. Specifically, the content of the British works on paper collection reflects the influence of renowned British art collector Paul Mellon.