British Council Collection banner by Ed Hall

We promote British visual arts through a range of activities and events including touring exhibitions, workshops, seminars, and conferences.

For 80 years the British Council has been collecting works of art, craft and design to promote abroad the achievements of British artists, craft practitioners and designers. A remarkable collection of some of the very best British artists of the 20th and 21st Century, the collection of more than 8,500 works of British art can be viewed in our online collection

Post-Pop. Beyond the Commonplace

Gulbenkian Foundation and the British Council will launch an exhibition on 19 April 2018 "Post-Pop". The exhibition will contain art work from the British Council art collection.

Our teachers will be delivering a series of free workshops in English based on the exhibition. The workshops are for schools and cover Pre-escolar to 3º Ciclo.

Post-Pop tours with audio description

We will shortly publish the dates of tours of Post-Pop with audio description for the visually impaired. Watch this space!

Post-Pop Conference: 23 May 2108

Pop and Design: debate with Professor Alex Seago, Dean, School of Communication, Arts and Social Sciences, American International University in London, Richmond (Surrey).

To enrol, please contact

Recent projects

Recent projects in Portugal include My Choice, an exhibition that was selected by Dame Paula Rego from the British Council Collection of 20th and 21st century British art. In partnership with the British Council, the exhibition toured to A Casa das Histórias Paula Rego, Espaço Fundação EDP Porto, and to Casa das Caldeiras, Coimbra. Explore online the works of art chosen by Dame Paula Rego.

PHOTO: British Council Collection Banner by Ed Hall © Ed Hall

The British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Since 1938 the British Council has managed the British Pavilion in Venice, commissioning British artists at the longest-running, most prestigious international art biennial in the world.

Find more information about the Bienale 2017 – and 2018!

My Choice: Paula Rego explains...

The artist Paula Rego was invited to make a selection of works from the British Council Collection for an exhibition held in London called "Thresholds". It was so successful that she was invited to make further additional selections for an exhibition to tour the country of her birth, Portugal.

"Visit" the exhibition "My Choice" em Portugal

Read more about Paula Rego's choices:

"I was invited by the British Council to make a selection of pictures for the Thresholds exhibition, at the Whitechapel Gallery, in London. I was helped, in a subtle and unobtrusive way, by beautiful Diana Eccles, the keeper of the collection, and by my friend Robert McPherson, who had given me my first exhibition in the UK, at the Air Gallery, in London.

At the end of the room were big, black, cardboard boxes, stacked on top of each other, full of etchings and prints. I had the impression that some had not been opened for years and years, that no-one had ever looked at some of them. I came across a magic world of places so beautifully drawn, houses with windows of various sizes, landscapes and townscapes, often mysterious. I felt my heart beating not knowing what lay underneath; surprise after surprise and I was full of expectation and delight.

I really only chose what I liked. I didn't choose pictures because of the name of the artist, or because they were considered historically significant. Very often I didn't know who had done them. Some I had seen before, but others not."

Paula Rego, December 2010

See Dame Paula Rego interviewed by Robert McPherson

External links