Please note due to the installation of Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, our British Portraits Gallery and Women's Library will be closed until Thursday 26 May. Portrait Artist of the Year and our other permanent collections will remain open. We apologise for any inconvenience.

British Folk Art Collection

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British Folk Art Collection

We have the largest collection of British Folk Art in the UK. ‘Folk Art’ – sometimes known as ‘naïve art’ – refers to art made by highly skilled people who wished to express their creative urges but had no formal artistic training. Growing out of the long-established craft traditions in local communities, folk art can encompass objects made for a specific purpose – such as shop signs, agricultural implements and weathervanes – and decorative works created primarily to satisfy the maker – such as street scenes, collage pictures and even moving automata. Often, these items provide an insight into what life was like for ordinary people, both rural and urban, during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Our current display has been curated by artist and designer Mark Hearld, who produced new work in response to the collection, including a wallpaper design.

Watch the video below to see our Potter’s Workshop automata in action.

Entry to British Folk Art is included in all ticket types

Visit the collection website: www.britishfolkartcollection.org.uk