Northern Ireland Civil Service Art Collection
The Northern Ireland Civil Service Art Collection came into being in 1963 when the then Prime Minister, Captain Terence O’Neill, proposed works of art to brighten up government offices.
The purpose of the collection is to decorate government offices and public access areas of Northern Ireland government buildings. The collection now has about 1,700 works, valued in 2020 at over £2.5million. At any one time over 1,000 pieces are on loan, mostly in the Civil Service office estate.
A selection of the art works can be viewed at Northern Ireland Civil Service art collection
Since 1997, the Department of Finance has worked in co-operation with the Office of Public Works (OPW) in the Republic of Ireland in exhibiting art works from public buildings managed by both Departments. These exhibitions have comprised artworks taken from the two collections based on particular themes each year, such as paper works and emerging art. The exhibitions provide an opportunity for the wider public to view art works, which normally decorate public buildings. Over the years, they have toured extensively throughout Ireland.
The next joint OPW/NICS Art Exhibition will open in the Burnavon, Cookstown in September 2022.