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Past artist residencies

Celebrating a long tradition of artists working in the Gallery


About past residencies

An integral part of our programme since the 1980s, our past residency programmes have included the Artists-in-Residence (198189) and the Associate Artist scheme (1990–2016).

Over the course of the residencies, artists have taken inspiration from specific paintings in the collection, including Ingres's Madame Moitessier and Titian's The Death of Actaeon, as well as broader themes such as Michael Landy's fascination with paintings of saints.

Artist-in-Residence (1980–9)

Between 1980 and 1989, the National Gallery organised an Artist-in-Residence programme in collaboration with the Arts Council. Artists at the early stage of their careers were invited to work in the National Gallery’s artists’ studio for about six months.

Initially, the Arts Council provided the National Gallery with a shortlist of potential Artists-in-Residence, though in later years the position was chosen through an open call, which often received several hundred applications. 

Each week on a weekday afternoon, resident artists invited members of the public into their studio, where they could see a contemporary artist at work.  

The nine artists who participated in the Artist-in-Residence programme also donated a work from their residency to the National Gallery’s History Collection. 

Artist-in-Residence artists

Maggi Hambling


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Jock McFadyen (1981–2)

Image: 'Canary' (detail), 1991

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Michael Porter


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Kevin O'Brien (1983–4)

 Image: 'Sebastian' (detail), 1991

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Hughie O'Donoghue


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June Redfern


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Vivien Blackett


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Philip Mead


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Madeleine Strindberg


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Associate Artist Scheme (1990–2016)

The Associate Artist Scheme enabled leading contemporary artists to work with the National Gallery’s collection. The appointment was by invitation from the Trustees of the gallery.

The Associate Artist was given a studio in the National Gallery for between one and three years. They were invited to make new work in response to the collection. The programme was designed to demonstrate the continuing inspiration of the old master tradition on contemporary artists.

Associate Artist Scheme artists

Paula Rego (1989–91)

Ken Kiff (1991–3)

Peter Blake (1994–6)

Ana Maria Pacheco (1997–9)

Ron Mueck (2000–02)

John Virtue (2003–05)

Alison Watt (2006–08)

Michael Landy (2010–12)

George Shaw (2014–16)