About Take One Picture

Launched in 1995, Take One Picture is the National Gallery’s countrywide scheme for primary schools which aims to inspire a lifelong love of art and learning by promoting the role of visual arts within education

Each year the National Gallery encourages primary school teachers and children to focus on one painting from the collection and respond creatively to its themes and subject matter, historical context, or composition.

Our programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses around the scheme offers teachers the opportunity to learn about the focus painting from Gallery experts, to explore it in depth with their peers, and to develop techniques and ideas for using paintings as a resource for curriculum-based learning.

The Gallery hosts the annual Take One Picture exhibition which showcases children’s responses to focus paintings. In order to be considered for the exhibition, schools submit to the Gallery examples of how a class, year group, or whole school used the painting to inspire creative learning across the curriculum. Schools are selected for exhibitions according to the following criteria:

  • Investigative approach: Pupil-led research
  • Process: Pupils have the opportunity to learn a new process inspired by the focus painting
  • Cross-curricular learning: The project must link subjects across the curriculum
  • Community: Involving the wider community
  • Focus painting links: All the work submitted must link back to the focus painting.

Submissions for the 2019 'Take One Picture' exhibition (focus painting Joseph Wright 'of Derby', An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump, 1768) closed on 31 October 2018.

Find out when the next CPD courses are taking place. While we do encourage it, you do not have to have attended a CPD course to submit a project. 

Find out about the latest Take One Picture exhibition.

Further resources